Speaking of Iran

Aras Amiri is Iran’s latest state-sponsored hostage. Britain must act

May 20, 2019
Speaking of Iran
1 min read
Aras Amiri is Iran’s latest state-sponsored hostage. Britain must act

The British Council employee’s arrest mirrors my wife’s ordeal, writes Richard Ratcliffe for the Guardian. Iran must be stopped from holding innocent people as leverage

 

This week Aras Amiri from north London was convicted and sentenced in Iran to 10 years in prison for organizing Iranian cultural events in the UK for the British Council.

It brought back memories of the sentencing of my wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on similar charges in 2016 – and the tearful weeks failing to make sense of it all. Aras’s case has many similarities to Nazanin’s: both arrested when on holiday visiting family, both targeted for their links to the UK, both had their jobs in London turned into cynical espionage claims.

Today they are cellmates in Evin prison. They often share a cup of tea, and talk about their lives in London, now so far away. Two weeks ago, Aras’s family had been told the verdict was being delayed, awaiting other considerations. We had shared their hope that she was not another political chess piece.

Then came Monday’s sentence – not told to a lawyer, but announced on TV: 10 years in prison. Iran’s revolutionary court convictions of foreigners are never about justice. They are advertising an imprisonment.

For my family, the announcement was also ominous.


Read the full article from the Guardian

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