South East Wales

UK woman jailed in Iran: Government 'should condemn sentence'

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her daughter Gabriella Image copyright Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

The family of a British-Iranian woman held in Iran has said the UK government should do more to support her.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained while trying to leave the country with her baby daughter in April 2016.

Her sister-in-law, Rebecca Jones, a GP who works in Cwmbran, Torfaen, said the Foreign Office should "publicly condemn" what has happened.

The Foreign Office said it had supported the family since the arrest.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe - a charity worker from London - was sentenced to five years in prison in September on charges that have not been disclosed.

An appeal was launched but the ruling was upheld in January.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme, ahead of an event in Cardiff to mark the plight of her sister-in-law, Dr Jones said: "It would be nice if someone high up in the government publicly condemned this.

"We've had the shadow foreign secretary publicly condemn what's happened to Nazanin but nobody from the government.

"This is a terrible miscarriage of justice and everybody can see it but the government hasn't stood up and said that yet."

Image copyright Other
Image caption Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, her husband Richard Ratcliffe and daughter

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's two-year-old daughter is being cared for by her grandparents in Iran. She sees her mother once a week during a prison visit.

Dr Jones added: "Politically there's a lot going on in Iran at the moment… and obviously since Brexit, [the UK government] wants trade deals with Iran.

"There's money in Iran and I don't think they want our family to jeopardise that."

"It might be the wrong take on things but it's difficult not to get cynical. We're a year down the line and neither my sister-in-law nor my niece has been released."

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said Iran continues to refuse UK consular access to Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

"The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have both previously raised this case with their counterparts," she said.

"We have been supporting Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family since we were first made aware of her arrest."

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