Iran sentences British woman to 5 years on security charges

AP News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2017 12:21 PM
Iran sentences British woman to 5 years on security charges

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has sentenced an Iranian-British woman accused of trying to overthrow the cleric-run government to five years in prison, a news website affiliated with the judiciary reported Sunday.

Mizan Online quoted a prosecutor as saying the sentence against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been finalized. The prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, did not elaborate.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the news agency's charitable arm, was detained in April 2016 while trying to leave the country with her toddler daughter, who remains in Iran with family after authorities seized her passport.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, confirmed that an appeals court upheld her sentence, for the charge of "acting against national security." The family has denied she violated any laws.

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of dual citizens on security charges since the Islamic Republic reached a nuclear accord with world powers in 2015, in a crackdown led by hard-liners in the security services and the judiciary.

Iran does not recognize dual nationalities, meaning those detained cannot receive consular assistance. In most cases, dual nationals have faced secret charges in closed-door hearings in Iran's Revolutionary Court, which handles cases involving alleged attempts to overthrow the government.

British Prime Minister Theresa May raised concerns about Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case during a phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last August.