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Iran rejects appeal to release British-Iranian women

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella pose for a photo in London, UK on 7 February 2016 [Karl Brandt/Courtesy of Free Nazanin campaign/Handout via REUTERS/Files]
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella pose for a photo in London, UK on 7 February 2016 [Karl Brandt/Courtesy of Free Nazanin campaign/Handout via REUTERS/Files]

Iran has rejected the appeal for the release of a British-Iranian woman who was detained on charges of espionage.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, was jailed in Thran following her arrest at Tehran airport on 3 April, last year, has lost a final appeal over her conviction for allegedly plotting to topple the government.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency, is thought to be one of several dual nationals held in Iran by the security services on espionage charges. It is believed that she is likely to be used as a bargaining chip in future negotiations with the West.

The family of Ratcliffe said today that they have exhausted all chance of having her five-year prison sentence overturned in court. Her Husband Richard Ratcliffe launched a petition, which has been signed by nearly one million people, calling on the British prime minister to intervene, as Zaghari-Ratcliffe holds a British passport.

Ratcliffe said in a statement that he wants the British government to publicly call for Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release, rebut the Iranian spy allegations against her and have the British ambassador in Tehran visit her in prison.

He said that his wife still does not know the exact charges for which she was convicted.

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.

he said.

Iranian news agencies have said Zaghari-Ratcliffe was convicted of plotting the “soft toppling” of Iran’s government. Her family says Iran’s paramilitary Revolution Guard tried to get her to confess on camera that she trained and recruited spies, something she refused. She had travelled to Iran with her daughter to visit family there.

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