British woman imprisoned in Iran receives diplomatic protection

A British-Iranian woman who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2016 has received diplomatic protection from Britain.

“I have decided today that Britain will do something very unusual and give diplomatic protection,” said British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt in a statement Thursday.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been imprisoned in Iran since being arrested with her little daughter at Tehran Airport in 2016.

Hunt says this is a formal recognition by the British government that the treatment of the woman is contrary to Iran’s obligation to comply with international laws. According to Hunt, the woman has been subjected to “unacceptable treatment” by the Iranian authorities. Among other things, the British authorities have not been able to secure her health care for breast cancer.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe sings a sentence of five years for allegedly undermining the Iranian regime, a charge she has always refused. She lives in the UK but was in Iran to visit her family.

Husband Richard Ratcliffe has run a campaign in the UK to get her set free. Meanwhile, the now three-year-old daughter is being looked after by Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s parents.

(© NTB)

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