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Supreme Court Rejects Nazanin Appeal

April 24, 2017
Natasha Schmidt
2 min read
Supreme Court Rejects Nazanin Appeal
Supreme Court Rejects Nazanin Appeal

Iran’s Supreme Court has rejected Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s appeal, upholding her five-year prison sentence. 

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested in April 2016, asked her family and the Free Nazanin campaign to publicize the decision. 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe has called on the UK government to publicly call for her release, and to issue a statement rejecting fresh allegations in the Iranian media that she is a spy. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has asked for the British ambassador to visit her in prison, and said she will write to the UK prime minister Theresa May.

“For Nazanin, for all the other British Iranians watching and seeing how their government stands up for them is important,” said Richard Ratcliffe in a statement.  “It does no good to UK-Iranian relations, or to those who might be thinking about going to Iran on holiday, or even doing business as the government is keen to promote, to know that this could happen to anyone. The government should be clear that this is not the way.”

The Supreme Court informed Zaghari-Ratcliffe's lawyer of the decision on April 18, who then discussed the details with his client during a prison visit over the weekend. He was told there were no further legal avenues the family could pursue. The Qom Branch of the Supreme Court upheld the prison sentence. A panel of judges reached the decision, and there was no hearing. 

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's employer described the decision as a "huge blow." Monique Villa, the CEO of Thomsons Reuters Foundation, said in a statement: "Nazanin has never had dealings with Iran whatsoever in her professional capacity at the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The Foundation does not operate in Iran directly or indirectly.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-British charity worker who was living in London at the time of her arrest, said she was angry about the decision, but not surprised. She has demanded that authorities provide her with a formal document outlining the charges against her, and her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, intends to write to the Iranian embassy to reiterate this demand. To date, Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family have not received a copy of the charges. 

Throughout her incarceration, she has only been allowed to see her lawyer on two occasions. She was denied legal counsel during her time in solitary confinement and the interrogation process.  

Revolutionary Guards arrested Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at the airport as she was returning to the UK with her daughter Gabriella on April 3, 2016. She had been visiting her family for the Nowruz holidays. 





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