London, 25 Apr – The final appeal of a British-Iranian woman falsely charged with attempting to overthrow the dictatorship in Iran has been rejected.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the charitable foundation Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested last April when she took her daughter, Gabriella, to celebrate Nowruz (Iranian New Year) with her family.
Her husband Richard Ratcliffe released a statement calling on the British Government to intervene on behalf of his wife and make sure that the British ambassador in Tehran visits her in prison.
However, Iran does not recognise dual nationality and rarely allows consular access to prisoners.
He said: “It is a not such a surprise that this final appeal failed. We have had two secret trials and now a closed panel review. But it is still nonsense that even at this stage Nazanin still does not have firm details of the charges against her.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe is being held on vague national security charges, which is a common tactic by the Iranian Regime when they do not have evidence linking you to a crime but want to imprison you anyway.
According to Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s parents, the Iranian terror squad, the Revolutionary Guards have repeatedly tried to force her to confess to training spies but she has always refused to lie.
She was held in solitary confinement for 45 days before being moved to a group cell.
Monique Villa, the CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said: “She is not a spy but an innocent mother who travelled to Iran only to show her baby to her parents.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe is one of several dual-nationals who is being held on national security charges in Iran; it is believed that the Iranian Regime is using them as leverage against their home countries.
The Regime has refused to release Gabriella’s passport so the British toddler is effectively being held hostage as well; although they have released her into the care of her maternal grandparents.
Other dual nationals being held in Iran include:
• Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his elderly father, Baquer Namazi, who are serving 10 years for “cooperating with the hostile US government”
• Iranian-American Robin Shahini, who is serving 18 years for “collaboration with a hostile government,” although he has been granted bail
• Iranian-American Karan Vafadari, an art gallery manager and his Iranian wife, are currently awaiting trial
• Iranian-Canadian Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, has been indicted and is awaiting trial
• Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran 10 years ago, is still missing but his family believes he is being held by the Regime