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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and daughter Gabriella. (Facebook)


Iran reportedly sentences British-Iranian mom to 5 years in prison on ‘secret charges’

By WITW Staff on September 9, 2016

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker from London who has been detained in Iran for six months, has now been sentenced to five years in prison there for “secret charges,” her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said on Friday. He said Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, called him from prison to tell him the news and express that she misses their 2-year-old daughter, who was with her in Iran when she was detained back in April and is currently living with grandparents there. “I can’t bear to be in this place any longer,” a despondent Zaghari-Ratcliffe told her husband. “I have been here so long. Do you understand what it is like to be a mother kept away from her child this long?” he recalled her having said in the phone call. Ratcliffe said she turned to a guard watching over her as she made the call and asked him what charges she was being imprisoned on. “National security charges,” was the terse response she was given.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case has been shrouded in mystery, which is one of the most frustrating aspects of her detention for her family. She’s been kept in solitary confinement at times, and vaguely accused of plotting to “overthrow” the Iranian regime. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37, was arrested in early April as she and her young daughter, Gabriella, were attempting to return home to London. Gabriella’s passport was confiscated as well. “It remains extraordinary that Nazanin’s interrogators clarify the sentence but not the crime — because there is none,” Ratcliffe said of the latest news on his wife.

Read the full story at the BBC.


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