Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe trial in Iran adjourned, says MP

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been taken to court in Iran, where her trial was adjourned before she could put forward a defence, according to her local MP.

Tulip Siddiq said no British officials were present at the hearing on Monday, despite repeated requests from Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family to formally assert the UK’s right to consular access.

The 42-year-old British-Iranian woman has been detained in Iran since 2016 when she was sentenced to five years in prison over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.

Last week, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been under house arrest since March due to the coronavirus crisis, was told she must attend court on Monday and prepare to return to prison following the hearing.

She is now back under house arrest at her parents’ home in Tehran, with no date for the next court hearing, according to the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn.

“There were no UK officials at Nazanin’s trial, despite our repeated requests for our Government to assert the UK’s right to consular access. This simply isn’t good enough,” Ms Siddiq said.

“It is hard to imagine the mental torture that being repeatedly threatened with a return to prison causes, and this awful situation is now being dragged out once again.

“Nazanin’s safety is my top priority, and I urge the UK Government to make it their top priority too by stepping up consular support and efforts to secure her release.”