Fri, 21 June 2024

Freedom from Iran for journalist who wasn’t a journalist

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COMMENT Anatomy of very British scandal that cost woman six years of her life 

by Edward Steen. Vienna, March 16, 2022  Updated with BBC documentary 17/03/22

It has taken the long-overdue repayment of 400 million UKP, owed to Iran since 1979 (a matter of Chieftain tanks that were never delivered)-  for a British-Iranian woman aid worker visiting her mother to be freed after six years in detention, and an indefatigable  internationa campaign.

Selfie on plane home today

Former journalist Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, notorious for sloppiness about detail, had as foreign secretary denied she was a spy, and said Nazadin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “simply teaching people journalism” – a statement her family and her employer both said was nonsense

But Johnson’s offhand remark in parliament was then cited as proof by Iranian prosecutors that Nazadin, a young aid worker who’d wanted her mother to meet her little daughter Gabrielle, was engaged in “propaganda against the regime”.
Her release today, along with another British-Iranian hostage, is one of those heartbreaking stories beloved of the popular press, complete with a belated reunion of Nazadin with now seven-year-old Gabrille.
Maybe in truth nothing really mattered to the authorities, either of them, except the money owed by the UK for nearly half a century – which the British government falsely said was not relevant. As the late former UK premier Edward Heath once remarked: “No-one cares less about its own population than Britain. I should know – I used to run this place.”


♦   Guardian 17/03/22  Foreign Office urged husband “don’t make a song and dance about this”

♦  Guardian 16/03/22  timeline of Nazanin’s six-year detention 

♦  Guardian 16/03/22 (Video) Is that Mummy?

♦  Guardian 16/03/22 Editorial

♦  BBC sounds 17/03/22  Mr One per cent, unpaid debts, and Nazadin

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