Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Bio
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British-Iranian dual citizen who has been detained in Iran since 3 April 2016. In early September 2016, she was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment allegedly for “…plotting to topple the Iranian government.”
The prosecutor general of Tehran had stated in October 2017 that she was being held for running “a BBC Persian online journalism course which was aimed at recruiting and training people to spread propaganda against Iran”.
Their hunger strike ends, but Iran continues to imprison British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on the absurd charge of plotting to overthrow the clerical government. https://t.co/EziGHNJW5T pic.twitter.com/OVzs2DLR4N
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) June 29, 2019
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Age
She was Born on 26 December 1978 and now 40 years old.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Arrest and trial
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Canadian news agency Thomson Reuters’ charitable arm, traveled to Iran on 17 March 2016 to visit her family for Nowruz (Iranian New Year) with her 22-month-old daughter Gabriella. On 3 April 2016, members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard arrested her at the Imam Khomeini Airport as she and daughter were about to board a flight back to the UK. Her daughter’s British passport was confiscated during the arrest, but later returned, and she remains in Iran under the care of her maternal grandparents so she can visit her mother.
Accounts vary as to the reason for her arrest. Amnesty International suggested a link to the 2014 imprisonment of several Iranian technology news website employees. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has worked for the BBC World Service Trust (now called BBC Media Action), an international charity that provided training courses to Iranian citizen journalists and bloggers. In 2014 a group of graduates was sentenced by Iran to up to 11 years in jail for their participation in the courses.
Nazanin worked for the BBC World Service Trust between February 2009 and October 2010, “in a junior capacity as a Training Assistant” according to the CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, before moving to Thomson Reuters Foundation BBC Media Action described her role as “junior and purely administrative”.
According to Yadollah Movahed, the head of the Justice Department in the Iranian city of Kerman, and as reported by the Iranian news network Press TV, Nazanin was arrested “over her involvement in post-election riots that engulfed Tehran and some other cities in 2009”. Movahed said Zaghari was among the suspects who “conducted activities against the security of the country by designing websites and carrying out campaigns in the media” during 2009. According to Movahed, Nazanin was not arrested for activity inside Iran or for activity during her 2016 holiday to Iran: “Some members of the group were outside Iran, including the suspect Nazanin Zaghari”. Mashregh News, an outlet close to Iranian authorities, pointed to her alleged involvement with the human rights organizations Women Living Under Muslim Laws and Hivos as a motive for her arrest.
According to Press TV in June 2016 “The CGRI headquarters in Kerman province announced that Nazanin Zaghari had been identified after a large intelligence operation. She was one of the liaison officers of networks hostile to Iran abroad. According to this source, she was responsible for several missions, and conducted her criminal activities under the direction of media and intelligence services of foreign governments.”
In early September 2016 she was sentenced to five years in prison “for allegedly plotting to topple the Iranian regime. The prosecutor general of Tehran stated in October 2017 that she was imprisoned for running “…a BBC Persian online journalism course which was aimed at recruiting and training people to spread propaganda against Iran”.
On 23 August 2018, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released on temporary licence for three days, which is standard practice prior to lengthier releases.
In March 2019 the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) granted Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection, raising the status of her case from a consular matter to a dispute between the two governments. Iran argues the designation is contrary to international law, the Master Nationality Rule, with Iran’s ambassador in London stating “Governments may only exercise such protection for own nationals, … Iran does not recognise dual nationality.”
Although the writers of this article repeatedly use the word “alleged” with regard to charges in Iran, the fact in the case is that under Iranian law she was convicted and found guilty.
Londoners stand in solidarity with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who continues to be wrongly imprisoned in Iran.
Tonight I joined her husband Richard, on his eleventh day of hunger strike, outside the Iranian Embassy. #FreeNazanin#Hungry4Justice pic.twitter.com/vcOSfmRxLg
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 25, 2019
In June 2019, both Nazanin and Richard Zaghari-Ratcliffe went on hunger strike, in protest at Nazanin’s imprisonment. They both ended the hunger strike on June 29, 2019, after 15 days.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ends Iran hunger strike after 15 days https://t.co/juixludRty
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 29, 2019
The husband of jailed British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has called for Conservative leadership front runner Boris Johnson to take responsibility for his mistakes.
In a blistering statement Richard Ratcliffe, who has been on hunger strike for 15 days outside the Iranian embassy in Knightsbridge, London, in a campaign to get his wife released, also said Mr Johnson had not apologized to his family.
During his tenure as Foreign Secretary, the prime ministerial favorite said that the charity worker, 40, was in Iran to ‘teach journalism’ – a gaffe that Iran has used to justify the decision to imprison the mother under charges of spying.
Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband has criticized Boris Johnson’s behavior
- He said the former foreign secretary should take responsibility for his mistakes
- Richard Ratcliffe added that Mr. Johnson had not apologized to his family
- Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has ended her hunger strike in Evin prison
- And her husband Richard has said he will start taking food again today
- It lasted for 15 days and reportedly made work at the Iranian embassy impossible
- She was taken off a flight from Tehran in April 2016 and imprisoned for five years