British-Iranian girl again in court docket after 5 years in jail

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A trial to current recent fees towards a British-Iranian girl detained for 5 years in Iran convened Sunday, her supporters stated, casting uncertainty over her future following her launch from jail.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe appeared in court docket in Tehran to face new fees of spreading “propaganda towards Iran,” wrote Tulip Siddiq, a member of the British Parliament who represents her space of London and campaigned for her launch. A verdict was anticipated subsequent week, Siddiq added. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The brand new trial got here per week after Zaghari-Ratcliffe accomplished her jail sentence on broadly refuted spying fees. Though she was allowed to take away her ankle monitor and depart home arrest when her sentence formally ended, she stays unable to fly dwelling to her household in London.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was sentenced to 5 years in jail after being convicted of plotting the overthrow of Iran’s authorities, a cost that she, her supporters and rights teams vigorously deny. Whereas employed on the Thomson Reuters Basis, the charitable arm of the news company, she was taken into custody on the airport as she was returning dwelling to Britain after visiting household within the capital of Tehran in 2016.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s yearslong case has sparked worldwide outrage and strained ties between Britain and Iran. Her supporters have described her as collateral in a long-running dispute over a debt of some 400 million kilos ($530 million) owed to Iran by London, a cost the late Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi made for Chieftain tanks that had been by no means delivered. The shah deserted the throne in 1979 and the Islamic Revolution put in the clerically overseen system that endures at present.

Rights teams accuse Iran of utilizing dual-national detainees as bargaining chips for cash or affect in negotiations with the West, one thing Tehran denies.

Authorities launched Zaghari-Ratcliffe from jail on furlough final March due to the surging coronavirus pandemic, and she or he was detained in her mother and father’ dwelling in Tehran. Final fall, Iranian state TV abruptly introduced the brand new indictment towards Zaghari-Ratcliffe, however her trial was adjourned till this week.

Authorities in London and Tehran deny that Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case is linked to the reimbursement deal for the non-delivery of tanks. However a prisoner trade that freed 4 Americans in 2016 noticed the U.S. pay an analogous sum to Iran the identical day of their launch.

In a name final week with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated he confused that Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s “continued confinement stays utterly unacceptable.” Iran’s readout of the identical phone name made no point out of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case, as an alternative claiming that Johnson had emphasised to Rouhani “the necessity to repay the nation’s money owed to Iran.”

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