Rights Group Calls on Rouhani to End Imprisonment of Dual-Nationals

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Jan 26, 2017
Rights Group Calls on Rouhani to End Imprisonment of Dual-Nationals

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) today called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to “use all the powers of his office to obtain the immediate release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and the other unjustly imprisoned dual nationals in the country.”

On January 22, the Iranian Judiciary confirmed that a Revolutionary Court in Tehran had upheld a five-year jail term for Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian charity worker jailed in Iran on spurious charges.

The ICHRI condemned her imprisonment and added that it reaffirmed “the collusion between the Judiciary and the country’s security and intelligence agencies that is undermining justice in Iran.” The organization’s executive director, Hadi Ghaemi, also noted that Iran was holding at least nine dual nationals hostage. “Rouhani hides behind the excuse of an independent Judiciary, but in fact it is not independent—it is doing the bidding of the Revolutionary Guards and Intelligence Ministry officials who wish to intimidate dual nationals from western countries,” he added. “Rouhani, as president, has a responsibility to uphold Iran’s Constitution, which guarantees due process and a fair trial,” said Ghaemi.

Intelligence agents of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) arrested Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe last April on spurious “national security” charges when she was returning home from Tehran Airport. Her child, who was with her at the time of the arrest, has been with her grandparents in Iran ever since. In late December, Iranian officials told her that she should either keep her toddler with her in jail or give up custody. Her husband has also claimed that the IRGC is using his wife as a “bargaining chip” to secure a decades-old £500 [$620] million debt for a tank deal from the British government. Iran has also arrested several Iranian-Americans to use as a leverage for potential prisoner exchanges with Washington and extract political concessions and monetary ransom.