UK-Iranian ‘hostage’ Zaghari-Ratcliffe due back in Tehran jail

UK-Iranian ‘hostage’ Zaghari-Ratcliffe due back in Tehran jail
British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces a new court appearance next week in Tehran and will be hauled back to jail, her husband said. (File/AFP)
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Updated 28 October 2020

UK-Iranian ‘hostage’ Zaghari-Ratcliffe due back in Tehran jail

UK-Iranian ‘hostage’ Zaghari-Ratcliffe due back in Tehran jail
  • Iran last month abruptly postponed a new trial of Zaghari-Ratcliffe but she has now been told to report to a court, her husband said
  • He said in a statement that the UK government’s diplomatic approach “seems disastrous”

LONDON: British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces a new court appearance next week in Tehran and will be hauled back to jail, her husband said Wednesday, expressing fear her case could drag on “for years.”
Iran last month abruptly postponed a new trial of Zaghari-Ratcliffe but she has now been told to report to a court on Monday, Richard Ratcliffe said in a statement.
“She was told to pack a bag for prison and bring it with her when the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) pick her up, since that is where she will be going after court,” he said.
Ratcliffe linked the development to the postponement of a hearing that was due to take place on Tuesday in London, to address Iran’s longstanding demand for the repayment by Britain of hundreds of millions from an old military order.
After speaking with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday, he said in the statement that the UK government’s diplomatic approach “seems disastrous.”
“It is imperative that the UK protects Nazanin. I told the foreign secretary that I felt the UK is dancing to Iran’s tune, and exposing Nazanin to abuse because of it,” Ratcliffe said.
“As Nazanin’s husband, I do think that if she’s not home for Christmas, there’s every chance this could run for years,” he added, accusing Iran of “hostage diplomacy.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who will turn 42 on Boxing Day, has been on temporary release from Tehran’s Evin prison and under house arrest since earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
She has spent more than four years in jail or under house arrest since being arrested in the Iranian capital in April 2016 while visiting relatives with her young daughter.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation — the media organization’s philanthropic arm — denied charges of sedition but was convicted and jailed for five years.
There was no immediate response from the UK government Wednesday. Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the government was raising its concerns with Iran “at the highest levels.”


Oman to enact labor, taxation and subsidy reforms, says minister

Updated 16 min 1 sec ago

Oman to enact labor, taxation and subsidy reforms, says minister

Oman to enact labor, taxation and subsidy reforms, says minister

DUBAI: Oman plans to amend labor laws, introduce new taxation and end some “long-standing” subsidies while ensuring that low-income families are protected, the Gulf Arab state’s foreign minister said on Saturday.
Sayyed Badr Al Busaidi told the ISS Manama Dialogue summit in Bahrain that significant changes to labor policy would include abolishing a requirement that expatriate workers need permission to transfer to a new employer, which is known as the no-objection certificate system.