Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Iran releases footage of arrest of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Video of the dual British-Iranian national being stopped at Tehran airport was screened on state television

Footage of the arrest of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian dual national who has been held on charges of espionage, have been broadcast on Iranian state TV.

The video, which was shown as part of a documentary about the alleged efforts of the BBC to undermine the Iranian state, shows Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe being stopped at Tehran airport in April 2016.

She was on her way to board a plane back to the United Kingdom at Imam Khomeini airport when the footage, which was apparently shot on a hidden camera, shows her being apprehended.

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Iran restricts detained Briton’s phone calls from jail

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"Are you going to London," she is asked by an officer.

After confirming that, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is then told that an arrest warrant had been issued for her.

"You are banned from travel and you need to come with us to the prosecutor's office, where the prosecutor's assistant will tell you about your allegations and your problem will be resolved," she is then told by the official.

Richard Ratcliffe, her husband, said that his wife was being used as “leverage in the games” of the Iranian security services, and said the allegations in the documentary were “malicious defamation”.

“The most shocking part for Nazanin – who told me this morning that the programme was shown in prison – was that they showed secret footage of Nazanin’s arrest, the part once Gabriella had been taken from her and could be edited out of the story,” he told The Independent newspaper.

“I wrote last week to foreign minister [Mohammad Javad] Zarif to note that I regarded such allegations as malicious defamation. Though that battle is for another time. There are more pressing things to survive this and next week.”

The release of the video comes as the Iranian state appears to be upping the ante in Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case. She announced last week that she would embark on a three-day hunger strike in protest at her treatment in Evin prison, claiming that she had been denied medical treatment for lumps in her breast.

In a statement released through the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, she said: “In protest against this illegal, inhuman and non-religious practice, and due to concerns about our health and our lives, we will go on hunger strike for three days ... and ask for immediate care.

"If the authorities refuse to address [our demands] and in case our health is put further in danger, we will stage our next protests."

In response, Iranian authorities restricted her phone calls from jail.

Updated: January 10, 2019 09:19 AM

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