A British mother and charity worker has been sentenced to five years in prison by Judge Salavati of Iran’s Islamic Revolution secret courts. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, may have to serve a sentence in Tehran’s notorious “Hell on Earth” Evin prison, a facility with a history of executions and torture.
Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, says she misses their two-year-old daughter and had called him from jail and said: “I can’t bear to be in this place any longer.” The family says “there has never been clear information about what Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe is accused of, but Iranian officials have previously accused her of leading a “foreign-linked hostile network,” reports say.
Mr. Ratcliffe said he had asked his wife during the phone call what the charges against her were. A guard told her she was convicted of charges related to “National security charges.”
The case has received widespread publicity and may affect relations between the UK and Iran. The judge expressed anger over the publicity and said the publicity was evidence of her guilt.
The secrecy of the proceedings and the bizarre nature of the alleged undisclosed wrongdoing has led experts to speculate that hardliners in Iran want Western prisoners available to use as “bargaining chips or for prisoner swaps.”
DONALD TRUMP WOULD NOT STAND FOR IRAN’S SECRET COURTS
Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been critical of Iran and especially of the way suspects, and prisoners have been treated there. Trump believes Americans have been subjected to ridicule and disrespect when detained in the country and has promised to take an aggressive stand.
We look forward to his leadership on these types of issues and others in Iran. Secret courts have no place in a civilized world.