London, October 7, 2016
STATEMENT FROM THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION CEO MONIQUE VILLA IN RESPONSE TO THE UNITED NATIONS’ CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF NAZANIN ZAGHARI-RATCLIFEE
“We welcome today’s remarks from United Nations Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed calling on the Islamic Republic of Iran for the immediate and unconditional release of our staff member Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
On September 6, Nazanin was convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, but to this day the charges brought against her are kept secret. I echo Mr. Shaheed’s comments in reiterating that this is indeed “a mockery of justice”. Nazanin’s family has appealed the sentence, but there is no indication of when this will take place.
Nazanin’s health has seriously deteriorated since her arrest and her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, continues to remain separated from his 2-year-old daughter Gabriella, who’s stranded in Iran with her grandparents.
Immense pain has already been caused during the past six months. As I said on numerous occasions, I am convinced of Nazanin’s innocence. She had no dealings with Iran whatsoever in her professional capacity as the Thomson Reuters Foundation Foundation does not operate in Iran directly or indirectly.
As we welcome today’s remarks, we remain seriously concerned about Nazanin’s prolonged detention, and demand her immediate release.”
Monique Villa, Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO