Judiciary Explains Zaghari-Ratcliffe's Status

Judiciary Explains Zaghari-Ratcliffe's Status
Judiciary Explains Zaghari-Ratcliffe's Status

The judiciary spokesman said the Iranian-British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed over security charges could be eligible for an early conditional release next month, if she does not face new convictions.

Under the Iranian law, prisoners with sentences of less than 10 years are eligible for release once they have served a third of their sentences.

Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei told reporters in a weekly press conference on Sunday that Zaghari-Ratcliffe could be subject to the law, just like other prisoners and she will be released if she deserves a reduction in her punishment, ISNA reported.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, claimed to be a charity worker affiliated with the London-based charity Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 just before taking the flight out of Iran.

The 38-year-old is now serving a five-year jail sentence for clandestine efforts to spread propaganda against the Iranian government. She will have served a third of her sentence by January 2018.

But Zaghari-Ratcliffe is yet to face trial over a separate case, which is currently being investigated. She is likely to see more years added to her prison term, if she is convicted for a second time.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case drew considerable attention after British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested last month she was training journalists in Iran, contradicting the claim by the foundation affiliated with Thomson Reuters that she was simply on holiday visiting relatives.

Johnson came under pressure to resign after his comments, which confirmed charges by the Iranian judiciary that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was teaching people how to secretly prepare anti-government content and send them to the Persian service of the British-run BBC news agency.

According to her career record, she worked for BBC Media Action, the charitable arm of the corporation, for around 18 months.

Johnson later apologized for his "slip of the tongue", vowing to make every effort to secure the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe. He discussed her case with Iranian officials during his visit to Tehran earlier this month.


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