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British-Iranian Woman Loses Final Appeal Against Five-Year Jail Sentence In Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, was detained at Tehran airport last year. She has been accused of being a British spy.

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A British-Iranian mother jailed in Iran has lost lost her final appeal against her sentence, her family have said.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37, who works at the Thomson Reuters Foundation overseeing grant applications and training, was arrested at Tehran airport on 3 April last year by the Revolutionary Guard, and has since been in solitary confinement. She was in Iran for a holiday visiting her family.

The British-Iranian charity worker was separated from her young daughter and transferred to an unknown location in Kerman Province, about 1,000km south of Tehran. Gabriella Ratcliffe, her child, had her British passport confiscated, barring her from returning to the UK. The 2-year-old child remains in Iran with her grandparents.

In September, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in jail for plotting to overthrow the government. She has maintained her innocence and lost her first appeal in January.

On Monday, speaking from the UK, her husband Richard Ratcliffe told ITV News she had lost her final appeal to Iran's supreme court.

"The situation is now political," he said. "If we got to a year and she wasn't out I [said I] was going to start pushing again.

"We've had a year, the legal process is finished, so I think the Government needs to step up, find a way to visit her, say that she's innocent and call for her release publicly."

Ratcliffe told the Washington Post he has asked UK officials to make a deal with Iran for the return of his wife and daughter but has yet to receive an answer.

“They keep saying we are concerned. That is not enough," he told the Post. "My nightmare is that they will just leave her there to rot."

At least four Americans and five British dual nationals are in Iranian custody and charged with spying, the Post reported.

Alicia Melville-Smith is a homepage editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Alicia Melville-Smith at alicia.melville-smith@buzzfeed.com.

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