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A freed British woman says Iran forced her to sign a false confession

LONDON – A British-Iranian charity worker jailed in Tehran for nearly six years says she was forced by Iranian officials to sign a false spy confession before being released two months ago.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said British government officials were present at Tehran airport when she signed the false spy confession “under duress”. She said she was told by Iranian officials that “you cannot get on the plane” unless she signs.

“The whole process of signing the forced confession was filmed,” Zaghari-Ratcliffe told the BBC in an interview aired on Monday. “It’s a tool. I’m sure they will show that one day.”

Opposition Labor MP Tulip Siddiq, representing Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s home district of London, said the revelation raises “serious questions” for the UK government. She said Secretary of State Liz Truss “needs to set out in Parliament what she knew about this shocking revelation and what the consequences might be for my constituent.”

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 while returning to the UK after visiting family in Iran. She was employed by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the non-profit arm of the news agency, but was on vacation at the time of her arrest.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government, a charge she, her supporters and rights groups denied. She has been under house arrest at her parents’ home in Tehran for the past two years.

She and another dual citizen, Anoosheh Ashoori, were released and flown back to the UK in March. Their release came after Britain paid a £400 million (US$503 million) debt to Iran stemming from a dispute over tanks that were ordered in the 1970s but never delivered.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/05/23/freed-uk-woman-says-iran-forced-her-to-sign-false-confession/ A freed British woman says Iran forced her to sign a false confession

Sarah Y. Kim

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