Liz Truss condemns Iran as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe loses appeal against conviction for spreading propaganda
- Liz Truss called her treatment an ‘appalling continuation of a cruel ordeal’
- Her intervention comes after the British-Iranian’s mother’s appeal against her sentence was rejected
- Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, was jailed for five years in 2016 and could be sent back to prison at any time
Liz Truss yesterday condemned the treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe by Iran as an ‘appalling continuation of a cruel ordeal’.
The Foreign Secretary’s intervention comes after the British-Iranian mother’s appeal against her sentence was rejected, meaning she could be sent back to prison at any time. The charity worker’s conviction for spreading propaganda – which she strongly denies – was upheld without a hearing.
Miss Truss said: ‘Iran’s decision to proceed with these baseless charges against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an appalling continuation of the cruel ordeal she is going through. Iran must release her permanently so she can return home. We are doing all we can to help Nazanin get home to her young daughter and family.’
Liz Truss yesterday condemned the treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe by Iran as an ‘appalling continuation of a cruel ordeal’
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, who is living with her parents in Tehran, was jailed for five years in 2016 on charges of plotting to overthrow the government.
On release she was faced with the propaganda charge. Tehran authorities have told her she was being detained because of the UK’s failure to pay a £400million debt to Iran.
Yesterday, her husband Richard Ratcliffe said she could be called back to prison at any point following the decision.
‘Technically, she’s now just waiting for the phone call, saying “Turn up at this prison on this day”,’ he said.
‘Essentially, there’s a sword hanging over us now, it will at some point fall down. It’s hard to know when, and it’s hard to know what could stop it falling at this point.
‘It’s clearly a signal that the ball’s in the Government’s court to do something.’
Richard Ratcliffe (pictured) criticised the Government’s handling of his wife’s case, stating that it ‘does not deal with problems until they become crises’
He added the family is now thinking ‘what they can do to protect Nazanin’ once she is in prison, but added he ‘does not have any clear answers on that at this point’.
He also criticised the Government’s handling of his wife’s case, stating that it ‘does not deal with problems until they become crises’.
He said that the rejection of the appeal was the Iranians ‘signalling they’re not prepared to wait forever and they will do what they need to do’.
‘Is this going to be a wake-up call for the Government? Maybe, maybe not,’ he said.
‘One of the challenges I find with this Government is that it doesn’t deal with problems until they become crises.
‘This is Iran threatening a crisis. One hopes that the Government takes it seriously.’
Mr Ratcliffe said the Foreign Secretary Truss had spoken to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe on the phone on Saturday after her appeal was rejected.
He said: ‘Nazanin said that she sounded angry on the phone and I can hear the anger in her words.
‘But at this stage I am interested in her latest sentence: the actions she is taking beyond more pressing Iran.’
Their MP, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq (pictured), warned that losing the appeal meant she could be sent back to prison ‘at any time’
Their MP, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, warned that losing the appeal meant she could be sent back to prison ‘at any time’.
She said: ‘This is yet another piece of devastating news for my constituent, her family and the millions around the world who care about her.
‘For Nazanin to face a return to prison after the ordeal she’s been through is nothing short of a catastrophe.
‘It seems that every time we dare to hope that Nazanin might soon be free, there is another dreadful setback that puts freedom out of sight.’
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