British woman jailed while on holiday in Iran could 'face execution'

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A British woman who was jailed for posting derogatory comments about the Iranian government on Facebook fears she could face execution.

Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht, 47, from Stockport, was arrested during a trip to visit family in Iran five months ago.

According to the Daily Telegraph, she has been charged with "insulting Islamic sanctities", a crime that can carry the death sentence. She was reportedly detained at an airport and accused of being a spy.

She is being held in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, and her husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, who is still in Iran, said she confessed to the crime "under duress".

The Manchester Evening News says Roya was arrested as she stepped off a plane in the city of Shiraz on suspicion of plotting to commit crimes against security and insulting Islam.

Daryoush told the paper her arrest was over comments she made on an internet chat forum and to friends on Facebook about the Iranian government being too controlling and "too Islamic".

Daryoush said his wife has done nothing wrong and fears for her life. He told MEN: "It's a very bad situation. We don't know what's going on. Roya is not well at all. She has lost three stone and is frightened. She is scared that the government will kill her."

Family and friends are seeking help from the British government, and say Roya is an "innocent British citizen" whose arrest was based on a confession given under duress.

Ajay Sharma, Head of Iran Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), is currently acting as a diplomat between the two countries as part of an agreement made in February, the paper adds.

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