UK lawmaker: Trial of woman held in Iran since 2016 deferred

UK lawmaker Trial of woman held in Iran since 2016 deferred
       UK lawmaker: Trial of a woman held in Iran since 2016 deferred


A British lawmaker says a new trial that a woman with dual nationality expected to face in Iran on Sunday has been postponed, with no new date arranged.


After speaking to dual-national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, Parliament member Tulip Siddiq said in a tweet that the “trial” has been postponed.


Siddiq added that Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, is “relieved, frustrated, stressed and angry” and that once again the dual British-Iranian national is “being treated like a bargaining chip.”


Siddiq, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s local lawmaker, said more information will follow later Sunday.


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Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016 when she was sentenced to five years in prison over allegations of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government. She strenuously denies the allegations. She was arrested during a family holiday with her young daughter. Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency. Her husband had previously said that Sunday’s trial related to charges of spreading anti-government propaganda, in a case official dropped in December 2017, after a visit from Britain’s then-foreign secretary and now prime minister, Boris Johnson. Having been moved to house arrest in March, when thousands of prisoners were released during the coronavirus outbreak, Zaghari-Ratcliffe returned to court on Tuesday, months before her expected release date. That stoked fears she could be forced to return to prison. Amnesty International U.K. accused Iranian authorities of “playing cruel political games” with Zaghari-Ratcliffe and called on the British government to make it their “absolute priority” to get her home for Christmas. A spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office welcomed the deferral of “this groundless court hearing” and called on Iran to “make Nazanin’s release permanent so that she can return to her family in the U.K.”
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