MEPs urge Iran to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

31-May-2018 @ 12:00

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MEPs urge Iran to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

A motion calling for Iran to immediately release the jailed British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been backed today by the European Parliament.

Highlighting the plight of his constituent Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other joint EU-Iranian nationals jailed in Iran, Conservative Foreign Affairs spokesman and London MEP Charles Tannock said many of those imprisoned were often denied consular assistance because Iran did not recognise dual nationality.

He told MEPs: "Iran's detention of dual nationals continues to place a strain on its relations with EU member states.

"I support the call for the release of all those detained purely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and also those, such as Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who have been detained on spurious charges invoking bogus national security concerns."

The motion, backed by Conservative MEPs, urges the "immediate and unconditional release " of EU-Iranian dual nationals "unless retried according to international standards". It also calls on the Iranian judiciary "to respect fair trial and due process, to grant suspects access to legal counsel, consular visits and visits by UN and humanitarian organisations as well as full access to medical treatment."

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in 2016 as she was heading back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit. She was convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment and jailed for five years.Last week it emerged she may face a second trial on new security charges.

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