British woman jailed in Tehran back in court on new charge

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran for two years, has appeared in court to face a new charge, her husband said on Monday.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was summoned to a court in Tehran on May 19, according to a statement from Richard Ratcliffe, who runs the Free Nazanin campaign group.

The charge is for “spreading propaganda against the regime”, which she denies, he said.

On Sunday, she was allowed to speak to the British ambassador to Tehran, Rob Macaire.

“This is the first time that she has been allowed any contact with the embassy in over two years,” he said.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation -- the media organisation’s philanthropic arm -- was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016.

She is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition -- a charge she has always denied.

The couple have a three-year-old daughter Gabriella who is being looked after by Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s parents in Tehran.

She has asked for temporary release from prison next month to celebrate her daughter’s fourth birthday.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Iran in December last year to press for Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release on humanitarian grounds.

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