Britain hands jailed British-Iranian aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection

Britain said on March 7, 2019 it will grant “diplomatic protection” to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a UK-Iranian dual citizen jailed in Tehran since 2016, citing a lack of due process and access to medical treatment.(File/AFP/Free Nazanin campaign)
Updated 08 March 2019
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Britain hands jailed British-Iranian aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection

  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain
  • Iran’s ambassador in London said on Twitter that Britain’s move “contravenes international law”

LONDON: Britain will hand diplomatic protection to British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to underline the government’s belief that Iran has behaved unjustly in its treatment of her, foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday.
Hunt said while the move, a little-used way for governments to seek protection on behalf of their nationals, was unlikely to be a “magic wand,” it may help Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case.
Iran’s ambassador in London said on Twitter that Britain’s move “contravenes international law.”


She was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, a charge denied by her family and the Foundation, a charity organization that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News.
“I have today decided that the UK will take a step that is extremely unusual and exercise diplomatic protection,” Hunt said in a statement, adding that the move signalled to Tehran that “its behavior is totally wrong.”
“It is unlikely to be a magic wand that leads to an overnight result. But it demonstrates to the whole world that Nazanin is innocent and the UK will not stand by when one of its citizens is treated so unjustly,” he said.

Diplomatic protection is a mechanism under international law through which a state may seek reparation for injury to one of its nationals on the basis that the second state has committed an internationally wrongful act against that person.
“UK Govt’s extension of diplomatic protection to Ms Zaghari contravenes int’l law. Govts may only exercise such protection for own nationals,” Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador in London, said on Twitter.
“As (the) UK Govt is acutely aware, Iran does not recognize dual nationality. Irrespective of UK residency, Ms Zaghari thus remains Iranian,” Baeidinejad added.
Earlier this year, Zaghari-Ratcliffe went on hunger strike in protest at her treatment in jail.
“We have been working hard to secure her release but despite repeated efforts have not been successful. We have not even been able to secure her the medical treatment she urgently needs despite assurances to the contrary,” Hunt said.
“No government should use innocent individuals as pawns for diplomatic leverage so I call on Iran to release this innocent woman so she can be reunited with her family.”


Counter-protesters drown out white supremacist rally in Ohio

Updated 26 May 2019
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Counter-protesters drown out white supremacist rally in Ohio

  • Nine people from a group called the Honorable Sacred Knights showed up for a rally
  • They were met by 500 to 600 counter-protesters and over 350 anti-riot police

WASHINGTON: Less than a dozen people affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group were drowned out by hundreds of counter-protesters Saturday at a rally in the midwestern US state of Ohio, authorities and local media said.
The event ended peacefully without injuries or arrests, the city government of Dayton, Ohio, said in a statement on Facebook.
Nine people from a group called the Honorable Sacred Knights showed up for a rally they’d obtained a permit to hold in Dayton’s Courthouse Square. They were met by 500 to 600 counter-protesters, city officials said.
The counter-protesters chanted, sang and played various instruments to drown out the racist demonstrators, who had gathered behind a tall metal fence under tight police security, local media reports said.
More than 350 law enforcement officers were on hand amid fears of violence.
In 2017, a woman was killed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
President Donald Trump sparked outrage in its aftermath after claiming there were good people “on both sides” at the rally.