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Iran hands Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe 1-year jail term

A court in Tehran has convicted the dual national of spreading 'propaganda' by being involved in an anti-Iran protest outside the Iranian embassy in London in 2009

British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to a further one year in prison in Iran and is banned from leaving the country a year after her sentence, her lawyer told local media, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Nazanin Zaghari was sentenced to one year in prison and one year ban from leaving the country on charges of propaganda against the Islamic Republic," Hojjat Kermani told the Emtedad news website, adding that he was filing an appeal

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was accused of attending a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in 2009 and speaking to a BBC Persia journalist.

In 2009, Iran saw its largest anti-government protests and clashes in over a decade after a disputed presidential election.

READ: Aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe appears in Iran court for 'propaganda' trial

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's plight has garnered significant media attention in the UK.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told local media: "We will have to study the detail of what the Iranian authorities are saying. I don't think it is right that Nazanin should be sentenced to any more time in jail," he said.

"I think it is wrong she is there in the first place, and we will be working very hard to secure her release from Iran, her ability to return to her family here in the UK, just as we work for all dual national cases in Iran," he added.

The government will not stop, but will "redouble" efforts to secure Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release, said Johnson, adding that the UK was working with US authorities on the issue as well.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: "This is a totally inhumane and wholly unjustified decision. We continue to call on Iran to release Nazanin immediately so she can return to her family in the UK. We continue to do all we can to support her."

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's local member of parliament Tulip Siddiq said the decision was a "terrible blow" for her and her family. "It is devastating to see Nazanin once again being abusively used as a bargaining chip."

"We've been told the government has been working behind the scenes to secure Nazanin's release. These efforts have clearly failed and we deserve an urgent explanation from minsters about what has happened," she added.

READ: French tourist jailed in Iran charged with spying, lawyer says

She was arrested in April 2016 in Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport with her daughter Gabriella. She was in Iran to introduce her young daughter to her family. Gabriella has since returned to the UK

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison in September 2016 for plotting to overthrow the Iranian government, a charge she has continued to deny. She served those five years in prison, including months in solitary confinement.

Following the pandemic, which has hit Iran particularly hard, she was part of a wider prisoner release that allowed her to stay with her parents at their home in Tehran under house arrest. She was forced to wear an ankle tag and is only allowed to move within 300 meters of her family home.

In March, she was released from house arrest and had her ankle tag removed. Her latest prison sentence is non-sequential to the travel ban, meaning as things stand, she will not be allowed to return to the UK for two years.

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