London, August 9, 2016
STATEMENT FROM THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION CEO MONIQUE VILLA IN RESPONSE TO THE ACCUSATIONS TOWARDS NAZANIN ZAGHARI-RATCLIFFE, DETAINED IN IRAN
“Yesterday afternoon, an article in the Iranian press, Mizan Online, accused the Thomson Reuters Foundation of spying in Iran. This attack is completely untrue and a blatant attempt to seek to justify the imprisonment of British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is an employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is a charitable organization based in London aimed at improving socio-economic progress through media development, pro bono legal services, and increased awareness of humanitarian issues such as climate change and human trafficking. It is a totally separate legal entity to Thomson Reuters.
All projects undertaken by the Thomson Reuters Foundation are with the full cooperation, coordination, and agreement of any host country. It has no programmes that are based in or focused on Iran.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is not a propaganda organisation for any government, does not engage in advocacy, and certainly does not conduct any form of espionage or so-called “intelligence work”.
Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard while on holiday visiting her parents in Tehran with her young daughter and has been in prison since early April. She has now been charged and will stand trial in the Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati. The charges are unknown, but appear to relate to the completely unfounded allegation that Nazanin has plotted the "soft" overthrow of the Iranian regime. The nature of any alleged confession has not been disclosed and would have been obtained while Nazanin was held under interrogation in solitary confinement for 45 days.
We would urge the Iranian authorities to release this vulnerable and innocent young mother immediately.”
Monique Villa, Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO