Iran curbs jailed British-Iranian aid worker's family contacts-BBC

Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is seen with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella in an undated photograph handed out by her family. (Reuters)
Updated 20 August 2019

Iran curbs jailed British-Iranian aid worker's family contacts-BBC

  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter

DUBAI: Iranian authorities have restricted British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's contacts with her daughter to once a month and banned her from calling her husband, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
"Richard Ratcliffe said new rules mean she cannot make international calls to him in London - and can only see their five-year-old daughter once a month," the BBC said on its website.
Britain's Guardian newspaper said Zaghari-Ratcliffe could previously see her daughter, who lives with her grandparents in Iran, every few days in prison.
There was no immediate Iranian report or comment on the case.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit, and was subsequently sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment.
Her family and a charity organisation defending her, which operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News, deny the charge.
Ratcliffe said his wife was returned to prison on Saturday after being discharged from hospital, following a hunger strike, according to the BBC.


Pope Francis ‘very distressed’ over Turkey’s Hagia Sophia conversion to mosque

Updated 1 min 12 sec ago

Pope Francis ‘very distressed’ over Turkey’s Hagia Sophia conversion to mosque

  • ‘My thoughts go to Istanbul. I’m thinking about Hagia Sophia. I am very distressed’
VACTICAN CITY: Pope Francis said Sunday he was “very distressed” over Turkey’s decision to convert the Byzantine-era monument Hagia Sophia back into a mosque.
“My thoughts go to Istanbul. I’m thinking about Hagia Sophia. I am very distressed,” the pope said in the Vatican’s first reaction to a decision that has drawn international criticism.
The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano had on Saturday carried reaction from different countries about Friday’s decision to turn the monument from a museum back into a mosque but without any comment.
A magnet for tourists worldwide, the Hagia Sophia was first constructed as a cathedral in the Christian Byzantine Empire but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who critics say is chipping away at the Muslim-majority country’s secular pillars, announced Friday that Muslim prayers would begin on July 24 at the UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the past, he has repeatedly called for the stunning building to be renamed as a mosque and in 2018, he recited a verse from the Qur'an at Hagia Sophia.
Erdogan’s announcement came after a top court canceled a 1934 cabinet decision under modern Turkey’s secularizing founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to preserve the church-turned-mosque as a museum.