Statement from Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa With Regard to Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Detained in Iran

by Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 11 July 2016 16:16 GMT

“It is now 100 days since our colleague and staff member, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been detained in Iran and separated from her two-year-old daughter Gabriella whose British passport has been confiscated by the Revolutionary Guard in Iran.

Three months after her arrest – which included almost 7 weeks in solitary confinement – Nazanin has yet not been given access to a lawyer. She hasn’t spoken to her family in the past week.

We now understand from a Tasnim news report that Nazanin’s case has been formally referred to the court in order to start criminal proceedings. To this date, we have yet not seen any formal charges that might have been brought against her. The same news report indicates that Nazanin and other dual citizens have been accused of “sowing unrest”.

I cannot imagine Nazanin being involved in such activities. Nazanin is a young mother dedicated to her family and her work.  She has been working at the Thomson Reuters Foundation for the past four years as a project coordinator in charge of grants applications and training, and had no dealing with Iran in her professional capacity. The Thomson Reuters Foundation has no dealings with Iran whatsoever, does not operate and does not plan to operate in the country.

Nazanin had travelled to Iran in a personal capacity on a holiday to visit her parents as she had been doing every six months since the birth of her daughter Gabriella.

I expect the Iranian authorities to free Nazanin and to release the passport of her daughter Gabriella as soon as possible.

We remain in permanent contact with Nazanin’s family, her husband Richard, the British Foreign Office, as well as other authorities."

Monique Villa, Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO