Iranian court upholds UK mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's 5 year prison sentence
Jan 24, 2017 05:33 PM EST
The appeal against a five-year prison sentence given to a woman with dual British and Iranian citizenship has been rejected by a court in Iran. The arrest of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was sentenced September last year on national security charge, have not been made public.
Her original sentence according to a news outlet affiliated with the country's judiciary on Sunday has been upheld by an appeals court in Tehran, the country's capital.
The legal system in Iran does not recognise dual nationality and those who are detained are unable to receive consular assistance, according to BBC.
Monique Villa, chief executive of Thomson Reuters Foundation said she is "outraged by this new mockery of justice", and reiterated Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe never worked for BBC Farsi and that her husband "is not a spy but a reputable accountant".
"I am fully convinced of Nazanin's innocence," she added.
She is being held at Evin, Tehran's notorious prison where many political prisoners were reported being subject of degrading, torture and other cruel treatments.
Her husband Ratcliffe in November said that Ms. Ratcliffe was on a hunger strike and "at breaking point" to protest her incarceration. He also stated that she has considered for suicide, and pointed out that her mental health had deteriorated after being kept in both solitary confinement and cramped quarters for months at a time.
The London-based 37 year old worked as a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency, prior to her arrest.
Rights group Amnesty International, which has petitioned the UK Government to ensure the safe return of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her child, believes that her detainment may be related to the fact she used to work for the BBC.
The Iranian authorities however loathe the BBC's Persian-language news service - which millions of Iranians watch illegally.
According to her husband, although the precise charges against her remain secret, there were two new accusation were made at her appeal - one that stated she had been the head of BBC's Farsi service when it was launched in 2009, and the other charge was that she was married to a British spy.
Her family stated that she worked on a BBC training project for youth in Afghanistan and Iran but never for BBC Farsi, and she is married with an accountant - her husband Mr. Ratcliffe.