Iran Judiciary Dashes Hopes for Nazanin's Christmas Freedom

December 22, 2017
Natasha Schmidt
1 min read
Iran Judiciary Dashes Hopes for Nazanin's Christmas Freedom

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will not be released before being tried on fresh propaganda charges, a senior judiciary official announced on Friday, December 22. 

The statement came a day after news that the dual national is eligible for early release. 

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family had expressed hope that she might be released soon, even before Christmas. UK member of parliament Tulip Siddiq had described the news as “a glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel” that gave "Nazanin a real boost of positive energy.” 

But judiciary official Gholamhossein Esmaili told Iranian media that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had not yet been tried on additional charges brought against her in November. She was due for trial on December 10, just as UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was visiting Tehran to discuss her case and other matters with Iranian officials. But this trial did not go ahead, leading Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, to believe the charges might be dropped and she might be released. On December 11, the court announced that a second trial would not take place.

But this has apparently now been reversed, and she has yet to face trial. 

In November, Zaghari-Ratcliffe marked 600 days in prison, representing a third of her prison sentence and thereby making her eligible for early release under Iranian law. She was arrested in April 2016 at the airport as she tried to return to London after a visit with family. Her daughter Gabriella was with her at the time, and is now being looked after by family in Tehran.

Despite repeated requests to officials, Richard Ratcliffe has not been able to travel to Iran to see his wife or their daughter. 




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