Zaghari-Ratcliffe devastated after court case postponed

Zaghari-Ratcliffe devastated after court case postponed
In this undated file photo provided by the the family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national detained in Iran. (AP)
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Updated 14 September 2020

Zaghari-Ratcliffe devastated after court case postponed

Zaghari-Ratcliffe devastated after court case postponed
  • New charges could force British-Iranian mother back to jail after current 5-year sentence ends
  • Husband believes she is being held ‘hostage’ to gain leverage over UK

LONDON: Detained British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said she “really can’t take it anymore” after Iranian authorities postponed a second court case against her and provided no explanation or new date.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was due to face new, unspecified charges on Sunday but her case was adjourned suddenly.

She told her husband Richard Ratcliffe that she “wanted to scream out loud for 10 minutes, or to bang my head against the wall.”

Ratcliffe said she told him on Sunday: “I can’t take it anymore. They have all these games and I have no power in them. Sometimes I’m just full of anger ready to explode. I find myself hating everything in this life, including myself. There’s no escape.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker for the Reuters Foundation, was coming to the end of a five-year sentence for allegedly plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, when she was told she would face new charges. She denies the initial charges vehemently.

It is feared that new charges against her, said to be based on allegations that she “spread propaganda” against the regime, could lead to her being jailed after her present sentence.

After hearing about the new charges, she said she could not sleep, and “people shouldn’t underestimate the level of stress.” 

Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been under house arrest in her parents’ Tehran home since Iran’s coronavirus outbreak, but now fears she will be forced to return to Evin prison.

“She keeps saying, ‘Am I going back to prison?’” her husband said. “It’s too early to say what the postponement means, except that this remains a game of cat and mouse between governments, with us living life as a piece of bait.”

Ratcliffe believes that his wife is being held “hostage” to gain leverage over the UK in a historical dispute over a large defense deal that predates the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Responding to news of the adjournment, the UK Foreign Office urged Iran “to make Nazanin’s release permanent.”


Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul
Updated 27 min 21 sec ago

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul
  • The victim, a fashion model, was a tourist visiting Turkey and had never met the attacker before

LONDON: A Russian woman who was stabbed seven times by a knife-wielding attacker in Istanbul has regained consciousness, her sister said. 
Maria Rosanova, who is the sister of the victim Alexandra, told Life.ru news website that doctors at the hospital said she had regained consciousness and doctors are assessing her condition, according to a report by RT Arabic. 
Alexandra, a fashion model, was a tourist visiting Turkey and had never met the attacker before. 
“The incident not only caused physical suffering to her, but also emotional damage,” her sister said. 
Alexandra was attacked by a Turkish man along with two other Russians, a man and a woman, late on Sunday night. They were taken to hospital but their injuries were not life threatening. 
 The man suspected of attacking the Russians, a local garbage collector, has been detained by police, according to Russian agency Sputnik.
Preliminary reports suggested he was mentally ill.
The attack was caught on camera and widely shared online.
Turkey continues to grapple with high rates of violent crime, particularly murder and attempted murder.