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Boris Johnson comments could 'double British woman's jail sentence'

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager, is serving a five-year jail sentence in Iran.

By News Desk | Published: 7th November 2017 News Updates

Britain said on Monday that comments made by Foreign SecretaryBoris Johnson about jailed Iranian-British aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe should not be used to bring additional charges against her.

Johnson told the British parliament's foreign affairs committee on Nov. 1 that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching people journalism, a statement that the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a charity organisation for which she works, said was incorrect.

"Last week's remarks by the Foreign Secretary provide no justifiable basis on which to bring any additional charges against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe," a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said.

"While criticising the Iranian case against Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Foreign Secretary sought to explain that even the most extreme set of unproven Iranian allegations against her were insufficient reason for her detention and treatment."

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager, is serving a five-year jail sentence after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment.

She was brought again into court on Nov. 4, three days after Johnson's remarks, and accused by a judge of "spreading propaganda against the regime".

"She is not a journalist and has never trained journalists at the Thomson Reuters Foundation where she is project manager in my Media Development team," Monique Villa, Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO, said in a statement.

The charges against Nazanin were denied by her family and the Foundation, a charity organisation that is independent of Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.