feeds from Doha-based beIN Sports of top football games have been broadcast by
Saudi-based BeoutQ since 2017 [Maja Hitij/Getty Images]
Tells Saudis to Stop Pirating Women's World Cup TV Feeds
Female Artists Reflect On Identity and a Sense of Belonging In Manchester
Homes to Open Shelter for Muslim Women in Edmonton
Andrabi Admits Her Involvement in Receiving Funds from Foreign Sources: NIA
Women in Nigeria Return to Boko Haram Fighters
Women Need Maximum Int’l Exposure for Better Results: Malik
Woman Jailed in Tehran Begins New Hunger Strike, Husband Says
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Marriage among Reasons for Suicide among Young Iranian Women
to the reports of the past month, forcible marriage has been among the reasons
for suicide among young women in Iran who in the absence of any legal support,
find their only way out of problems in ending their own lives. Following are
two tragic stories:
Wednesday, June 5, 2019, Souma Khedri, 19, ended her own life by taking rice
pills. Souma who lived in Kiyouleh village in Baneh (western Iran), had been
compelled into forcible marriage with a relative against her own will. Souma
Khedri’s family refused to turn her body in to the Coroner’s Office.
another report on forcible marriage from Piranshahr, Sara Esmaili, 17, who had
been forced to marry a relative ended her own life on Friday, May 31, 2019, in
the village of Pasveh.
due to poverty and pressures in the family
women by the names of Kajal Mahmoudi, 21, Mahin Mohammadi, Zahra Sharifi, 25,
and Shiva Khosravi, 29, committed suicide by taking rice pills on May 29, June
1, 11 and 14 in the cities of Urmia, Abdanan, Ilam and Paveh respectively.
Amiri hanged herself on Friday, May 31, 2019, after having a fight with her
husband. The report did not specify where she killed herself.
to another report, Kimia Sheikhani, 19, also hanged herself on June 15, 2019.
She had returned home to her father after having a fight with her husband.
reports on June 15, 2019, from Oshnavieh also said an unidentified young woman
in Fajrabad village and an unnamed 20-year-old married woman in Gorgavi village
died after committing suicide without specifying their methods.f
young woman in Mashhad threw herself off a height in Amouzegar Blvd. on Friday,
May 30, 2019. She had been under enormous economic pressure. Earlier, on
Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Tehran, a 34-year-old woman and her six-year-old
son jumped off the fourth floor of a building, ending her own and her son’s
life. (The state-run ROKNA news agency – May 22, 2019)
Assadi, 20, ended her life by setting herself ablaze on May 29, 2019. The place
of her death was not specified in the report.
has asked a Saudi-backed satellite broadcaster to stop transmitting pirated
feeds of Women's World Cup games from a Qatari network.
feeds from Doha-based beIN Sports of top football games have been broadcast by
Saudi-based BeoutQ since 2017.
which sells the exclusive rights to beIN, on Sunday called out Arabsat for
is aware that unauthorised transmissions of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 are
being made available across the MENA region, primarily Saudi Arabia, via the
pirate broadcaster known as beoutQ," FIFA said in a statement to The
Associated Press news agency.
unauthorised transmissions of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 are made
available by way of Arabsat satellite frequencies.
is therefore seeking the cooperation of Arabsat in addressing the misuse of
FIFA's intellectual property."
from BeoutQ's coverage of England's victory over Scotland at the Women's World
Cup last week show the beIN logo on the screen.
authorities declared beIN illegal in the kingdom in a proxy battle in the
nation's wider economic and diplomatic boycott of Qatar that was launched two
years ago. BeIN has pursued Arabsat through the French courts.
if we are illegally denied access to justice in Saudi Arabia, we will use every
means possible to hold beoutQ and Arabsat to account for their daily theft of
rights-holders' intellectual property," beIN group chief executive Yousef
we are not fighting this battle alone - the weight of the international
community is now firmly coming to bear on Saudi Arabia to end its safe haven
for piracy, which is destroying not only the economic model of the global
sports and entertainment industry, but the livelihoods of content creators all
around the world."
was founded in 1976 by members of the Arab League and the Saudis hold the
biggest stake with 36.7 percent. There was no immediate response to a request
for comment from Arabsat.
continues to explore each of its legal options as a means to address beoutQ's
unauthorised broadcasts," football's governing body said.
this regard, FIFA is working with a number of other rights holders whose rights
have also been infringed by beoutQ."
January, FIFA, UEFA and the Asian Football Confederation issued a joint
statement with the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Spanish league
denouncing "persistent and illegal screening" of games where beIN
owns the Middle East rights.
up in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s, Robina Akhter Ullah, 57, felt unique, a
curio, even. “I was always the first,” remembers the artist. “The only Muslim
in high school, in college, getting a degree. I was always trying to prove I
belonged, that it didn’t matter that I was brown. I could fit in. But though I
could change my voice,” she says, in a distinctive Mancunian drawl, “I couldn’t
change my skin colour.” She says it didn’t matter where she was from, she was
always subjected to racist remarks.
epithet cuts through the gallery space in Manchester where Ullah is hanging her
contribution to a fascinating group exhibition. But her reflections on identity
and memory are a key part of Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today.
long overdue survey of five contemporary artists, who practise or have trained
in the north-west of England; none are household names in the art world. But in
a way that’s the whole point of this exhibition – it’s the result of an
academic research project by the University of Manchester, which has posed
important questions about how Muslim women are represented in the cultural and
journeys of the Muslim female artists
answer is probably hidden in Ullah’s own experiences. She only got back into
making art again relatively recently – her mother died and she started
producing work for herself “to feel normal again”. It had been 25 years since
she’d studied art, Ullah explains, as she takes me over to one of her strongest
pieces of textile work. But something reignited in her.
Mum died, all my links with Pakistan went,” she adds. “The stories disappeared.
I was unmoored from that culture. So here, The Sun Never Sets On The British
Empire looks at fractured memory; if you look at the fabric, there are threads
hanging, and that’s a reflection of how fragile our lives can be.
see how those pieces don’t connect?” she gesticulates. “Well, how will I
reconnect to Pakistan? Now, I’m not sure that will ever happen.”
Ullah is speaking, Shabana Baig takes photos of the exhibition space. Like
Ullah, it feels like participating in Beyond Faith is an important moment for
Baig – after her degree in textile design she freelanced for a while in the
early 1990s before changing career to work in the voluntary sector. She
currently has a role as a therapist for Greater Manchester Rape Crisis.
it seems, her colourful, detailed mixed-media work is getting the attention it
deserves. “I was asked in the run-up to this show why I hadn’t pursued a career
in the arts,” she says. “It’s not because I’m a Muslim but I do have to say
that when I was a freelance designer, my parents didn’t want me to move to
London where all the jobs were – they wanted me to get married.
didn’t, by the way, but I did find that it was difficult to follow that career
path on my own. So I kind of just stopped.”
fact, over the past couple of years, Baig’s interests began to converge as she
started to use art as a means of therapy and recovery for her clients. It
wasn’t long before she dug out work that had been “sitting under my bed for 28
years or more”. She dusted it off, realised it was quite good – “very much
about me as a second generation Asian woman dealing with a culture clash” – and
started reworking some of the pieces.
was a really exciting moment, but even then I wasn’t in it for the glory of an
exhibition; it was more to help my own well-being and the mental health of
others. So I’ve now got myself a studio space and, you know what, I might start
doing card designs. I’m going to dabble again, let’s put it like that, and see
where it takes me. But I feel so much better already.”
to inspire a new generation
research assistant Jana Wendell will tell me that one of the aims of the
project and exhibition is to make sure that Ullah and Baig’s experiences when
they were young Muslim artists are not repeated, that there is encouragement,
structure and a potential career path underpinning the talent and enthusiasm.
many start as young as Aida Foroutan, though, who as a four-year-old would
soothe herself through blackouts and air-raids in Tehran by drawing. “It was my
way of coping with my fears and conflicts, and I’ve never stopped that,” she
says of the series of paintings on show that look at the global oppression of
just as the work dreams of a better world, so Foroutan hopes that there will be
a moment in the not too distant future when exhibitions gathering together
Muslim artists won’t be necessary. “I could ask why I should be pigeonholed as
a Muslim artist? I’m just an artist, that’s it,” she says.
that’s the way it is. I once spoke to a gallery in London about representing
me, and their first question was to ask me where I was from. When I told them,
they said they already had an Iranian artist – and this was without ever seeing
my work. That’s so wrong – and it doesn’t happen to western artists.”
the meantime, then, in this imperfect world, Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists
Today is hugely important, a chance to enjoy and explore thoughtful work that
perhaps would never otherwise have seen the light of day – and also, through
the artists’ work with the Whitworth Gallery’s existing collections, place it
in interesting contexts.
hope it shatters a few myths and challenges peoples perceptions about being a
Muslim woman,” says Robina Akhter Ullah. “That label doesn’t mean you all have
the same experiences – the five of us here all have such different backgrounds
– but what unites us is Islam.”
without bidets, a lack of halal food options, soiled prayer mats and the
presence of men were just some of the complaints Aliyah Gauri heard from Muslim
women seeking shelter in Edmonton.
is the project manager for Nisa Homes — transitional homes for Muslim,
immigrant and refugee women and children who are seeking shelter after fleeing
domestic violence. Nisa Homes operates four shelters across Canada; in Mississauga,
Ont., Surrey, B.C., Windsor, Ont., and Calgary. The homes shelter anywhere
between eight to 12 women at a time.
fall, Nisa successfully raised $100,000 to open a shelter in Edmonton.
terms of why we came here, we were getting calls from here,” Gauri said, adding
that there had even been times when people were so uncomfortable with their
shelter options in Edmonton, they travelled to other cities to find help.
to a Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics report released in February 2017,
there has been a two per cent increase in family violence in Alberta since
2014. Out of all Canadian provinces, Alberta currently ranks third highest for
its rate of intimate partner violence.
research on issues related to domestic violence in immigrant communities
remains limited, the conversation has been shifting in recent years. Not only
are shelters now specifically collecting data on the number of immigrant women
coming in, but tools and resources available are also being directed to cater
to the needs of immigrant women.
April last year, the Alberta Council for Women’s Shelters (ACWS) introduced a
revised version of the danger-assessment tool, first created by a researcher
from Johns Hopkins University in 1986. The tool is a questionnaire to assess
whether women are at risk of being killed by their intimate partners.
revised version is aimed at immigrant communities, with questions in their
languages that focus on the experience of immigrant women. Edmonton law
enforcement, medical staff and immigrant and LGBTQ serving agencies were
trained on how to assess the danger levels of immigrant women in an abusive
Homes was started in Mississauga, Ont., by the National Zakat Foundation, a
non-profit organization that collects donations from Muslims and gives to other
Muslims in need. Zakat refers to charity in Arabic and is one of the Pillars of
Islam. Nisa means woman in Arabic.
Youssef, national manager of Nisa Homes, said the foundation kept getting
applications from Muslim women repeatedly fleeing domestic abuse at home. The
foundation conducted an extensive study to see if there was a need for a
transitional home that could better serve Muslim women.
they found was that a lot of women are not stepping forward because they are
afraid of stigmas, they are afraid of Islamophobia ... so they either prefer to
stay in those abusive relationships or end up staying with friends or family or
couchsurfing,” Youssef said.
Islamophobia on the rise in the country — a 2018 Statistics Canada report
showed that 2017 saw a sharp increase in hate crimes, up 47 per cent over the
previous year — women were fearful of putting themselves in another vulnerable
said the study they conducted found that many women who had gone to shelters
often had bad experiences, usually at the hands of other residents. Women would
report hearing comments like “Doesn’t your religion say that a man can hit his
wife?” having their hijabs pulled, and even having someone defile their prayer
first shelter opened in 2015 in Mississauga, followed by the one in Surrey the
shelters have since seen an increase in the number of women attending, as well
as an increase in the number of phone calls for help, Women reach out via
phone-call for any number of reasons, from searching for a safe space to stay,
to advice on what to do at home if abuse occurs. The first year the shelter in
Mississauga housed 43 women. Last year they housed 201. This year to date, they
have already housed 101 women.
number of calls for help the organization gets nationally has been rising, too.
Nisa received 127 calls in 2016. Last year, they received 657.
noted that the rising number of Muslim women seeking shelter at Nisa Homes is
not due to a rise in domestic abuse, but rather more awareness around the issue
and an increase in available resources.
when we started off, not many people knew about us. With time, we became more
well known and we heard from a lot of women ... that ,‘the only reason we came
is that we knew that you would cater to my cultural and religious needs,’ ” she
main Edmonton shelters — Win House, WINGS of Providence and Lurana Shelter —
have seen an increase in the number of immigrant women using their services.
From 100 in 2014 to 133 in 2017, according to the Alberta Council of Women’s
Shelters. That number has decreased slightly in 2018, down to 112.
percentage of immigrant women going to shelters in Edmonton is higher than the
provincial average. In Alberta, on average 11 per cent of women admitted to
shelters are immigrant women, whereas in Edmonton 15 to 20 per cent are
Hagan, family support manager at Carol’s House, an Edmonton women’s shelter
that specifically caters to immigrant women, said raising awareness about
available shelters has encouraged more women to come in.
are seeing more immigrant women coming in, even through our other shelters that
aren’t specifically for immigrant women,” she said.
from Edmonton started reaching out to Nisa Homes in 2016. In 2018, they
received a total of seven calls from women in Edmonton who had heard of them.
This year, they have already received seven calls to date.
we are not even halfway through the year, we anticipate more calls, so this is
an increase since last year,” Gauri said.
the city’s population increases, so too does the number of immigrant women and
children, which is why Gauri said it was important to bring Nisa homes to
Edmonton. She conducted an assessment of need for the city and what she heard
here echoed the experiences of women in Ontario.
know there has been an instance with a woman getting her prayer mat and someone
peed on it,” she said.
said language is also a huge barrier for many Muslim women. The majority of
Muslim women in Edmonton peak Urdu, Arabic and Somali. “These are their primary
languages, they never really had to master the English language,” Gauri said.
fundraising, they have enough money to open a shelter, but Gauri said they will
continue to fundraise for operating costs.
Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Jammu and Kashmir terror
funding case, on Sunday said that Dukhtaran-e-Millathad chief Asiya Andrabi has
confessed during interrogation that she had been collecting funds and donations
from foreign sources to organise protests by Muslim women in the state.
interrogation, Asiya Andrabi admitted she had been collecting funds &
donations from foreign sources, for which her organisation
Dukhtaran-e-Millathad had been organising protests by Muslim women in the
valley," said the NIA.
NIA also added that Andrabi made the confessions after she was confronted with
evidence regarding funding of educational expenses of her son in Malaysia from
2011 onward through foreign remittances made by Kashmiri businessman Zahoor
Watali. It is to be noted that Watali is currently behind bars in connection
with a terror funding case.
Asiya Andrabi was confronted with evidence regarding funding of educational
expenses of her son in Malaysia from 2011 onward through foreign remittances
made by Zahoor Watali," noted the NIA.
NIA has collected evidence that Asiya Andrabi has close links with the
Pakistani Army and use to receive funds from its spy agency the Inter-Services
Intelligence. According to NIA, Andrabi has close contacts with Pakistan-based
terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafeez Saeed through a serving
Pakistan Army officer, who is also closely related to her.
NIA said that Masarat Alam, who is also currently in jail in connection with
terror funding case, has revealed during interrogation that agents based in
Pakistan route the funds through hawala operators which were transferred to
separatist leaders including veteran Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Shah
Gilani. Masarat is the so-called poster boy of stone pelters and violent
agitations in Kashmir valley.
said that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is personally monitoring the
cases against Asiya and Masarat. It is to be noted that Doval spearheads the
Central government's strategy in Jammu and Kashmir on the terror front.
familiarised ourselves with the ongoing conflict in Kashmir, Syria and the most
recently talked about Sudan conflict because of wide global media coverage
about these war-torn regions. Yet, the Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria is
another alarming issue that has uprooted the lives of millions of people but
has been treated with neglect by international media and humanitarians. The
military has rescued thousands of women from the traumatising capture of the
Boko Haram fighters, yet hundreds of these women decide to go back to the
extremist terrorist group and not return home to their villages. Upon the
examination of certain living conditions and other factors, this article
attempts to navigate the perspective of these women refugees who choose to
return to their abductors.
Haram’s rise is a blatant gender-specific fight between millions of North-East
African women. This decade long war has targeted and adversely changed the
lives of thousands of women who have been abducted and enslaved by the militant
group. Women are in majority amidst the displaced 2.4 million persons in the
region and continue to bear the stigma of being former Boko Haram wives. The
conservativeness of African society doesn’t allow space for the blurred lines
between forced accomplice and sympathiser. These women are banned from
re-entering society, forcing them to adopt newer domestic roles. It’s important
to examine the socio-cultural reasons and human rights violations to improve our
policies regarding the reinstatement of refugees.
of Boko Haram
Boko Haram’s emergence in 2002, the insurgent movement, also known as Jama’atu
Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad started a violent campaign to impose their
religious and extremist interpretations of Islam.
by the leader, Mohammed Yusuf, the group undertook violent attacks against the
police force in 2010. Christian or even Muslim factions that opposed them had
their women abducted. Boko Haram also attacked civilians and extended the
brutality to schools to prevent the influence of ‘western education’. The
kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls near Chibok in 2014 became a prominent
international crisis, resulting in a movement called ‘Bring back Our Girls’
which received global media attention and support. Right after this incident,
the Civilian Joint Task Force, state security forces and a state-sponsored
civilian militia pushed Boko Haram to remote villages. However, the insurgency
group has rooted their headquarters in Sambisa forest of Borno state and
continues to strike with increasing force.
roles in society do women refugees take on?
its emergence in 2002, Boko Haram has paid particular attention to women in
rhetoric and action. The sect called for tighter restrictions for women in some
areas of life but also promoted their access to Islamic education and offered
financial empowerment. Boko Haram began to abduct women and girls for both
political and pragmatic ends. The seizure of more than 200 schoolgirls near
Chibok in 2014 was a much-publicised spike in a wider trend. The group took
Christian and later Muslim females to hurt communities that opposed it. By
awarding ‘wives’ to fighters, it attracted male recruits and provided an
incentive to combatants.
Haram attacks, the military’s persecution of suspects and its strategy of
emptying contested areas have forced over a million women and girls to flee
homes. Separated from husbands and sons conscripted or killed by Boko Haram or
arrested by security forces, many women are now fully responsible for their
families’ protection and economic well-being. In the words of a woman who fled
her home in Andara village in December 2016, “The soldiers, they betrayed us,
they said that we should come out of from our villages. They said it would be
safer and that they would give us a secure place to stay. But when we came,
they betrayed us. They detained our husbands and then they raped us, women.”
times of conflict, rape and other forms of sexual violence are common. History
has been evidence that rape is used as a weapon of war. In Sierra Leone, 94% of
the displaced households were subject to sexual violence. There has been
evidence of a very high risk of HIV/AIDS among female populations in areas of
conflict. Even in Kashmir, women have helped the separatists by feeding
combatants, providing shelters; as couriers carrying messages. In a war
economy, women take on new roles during the war, as men join the fighting. For
E.g. in Cambodia and Sudan women-headed households increased by one third.
needed (legal and humanitarian)
Nigeria, the federal government and its international partners must strive to
ensure laying of clear legal procedures in case of the following.
Detaining women because they were believed to be “Boko Haram wives” or because
they arrived in displacement unaccompanied by their husbands.
Imposing stricter movement restrictions on women than men in the satellite
camps (especially where this has contributed to women’s de facto detention).
Perpetrating sexual violence in the satellite camps.
Nigeria should also ensure the right to food, water, and health in all of its
detention facilities. International human rights law prohibits torture and
cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It is a right that states cannot
derogate from in any situation, even in times of conflict.
beatings that some women described in Bama prison, Monguno barracks and Giwa
barracks constitute torture and other ill-treatment. The violence, rape, and
abuse by soldiers and Civilian JTF members against women and adolescent girls,
the impact of which was intensified by the fact that many of them were young
and survivors of abduction, forced marriage, sexual violence and other
violations by Boko Haram, amounts to torture. The failure by authorities to
provide people with information on the status or whereabouts of their family
members in detention for long periods of time is also a form of ill-treatment.
Certainly, to the extent possible, development programs should have among their
principal objectives the mitigation of the negative consequences of conflict.
gender dynamics play a part in fuelling the Boko Haram insurgency should be a
clear warning that women’s integration into decision-making processes at all
levels is critical to a durable peace. Women have been sexually vilified and
paraded as weapons of war. We must do our best to ensure these women can avail
their basic civil rights to a life with dignity, without constant exploitation.
women need maximum int’l exposure for better results: Malik
- Former Davis Cupper Rashid Malik has said that Pakistan women players have
prepared well for Fed Cup 2019 but for getting better results, there is a need
of providing them maximum international exposure.
to The Nation, Malik (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz) said that although Pakistan women team
comprising Sara Mansoor, Sara Mehboob, Meheq Khokhar and Noor Malik are good
ones and prepared well for the mega event, yet the real issue is that our
opponents are far superior as they were heavily invested and played a great
number of international events and trained well in the longer camps before entering
this tournament, so they will surely have better chances than us.
have observed training of our women team in Islamabad, which is preparing for
Fed Cup to be held in Malaysia. The preparation is not bad as the girls have
worked really very hard but they could have been better if the camp was for bit
longer,” he added.
said that the opponents are tough and a lot of their girls are ranked quite
high in WTA Ranking. “Sabina Sarapova of Uzbekistan is ranked 171 in the world
highest in this event. She has beaten Sania Mirza before also. Our girls have
to be mentally tough to win matches. I have full faith if they play to their
potential, they can do well.”
suggested that Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) should focus more on women
tennis so that they should win more medals for Pakistan in SAF Games and other
international events. “Our focus should be also on U-10 and U-14 girls and
boys, if we want our country to be in top countries in Asia.
is the time, we need to get sponsors for these young players so that they may
fight in tournaments abroad to get mentally ready for big events. Even Aisam
did the same thing, playing a lot of international tournaments. In his case, he
has full support of his father from childhood and kept on supporting him till
he made his position in that standard. Everyone is not that lucky to give such
a support to his child. So we need to help those talented kids, who can’t
afford to play such an expensive game,” he added.
former Davis Cupper said that Pakistan has produced many top women players like
Perveen Sheikh, Ushna Suhail, Sara Mansoor, Sara Mehboob, Marium Rahim, Nosheen
Ihtisham, Mehvish Chisti, Haleema Rahim, Nida Waseem, Farrah Khushid, Saadiya
Jan, Noor Malik and many others. “Only they could not come up in the
international tournaments due to lack of sponsorship. Ever chip has talent but
we just need to explore it and give a lot of international exposure.
Academy has produced many international players and national champions but to
be world class player, we need full funding with proper management. Some
players are born talented and some become champions with their hard work.
Pakistan is full of talent but we need to develop nurseries everywhere of all
sports from age 4 years onwards. In last four years, as being PLTA secretary,
my only aim was to make the game popular in every school and I have
significantly succeeded in achieving my task and now more keen to worker hard
to do a lot more,” Malik concluded.
— A British-Iranian woman who has been imprisoned in Tehran has begun a new
hunger strike to demand her freedom, her husband said as he vowed to support
her by fasting outside the Iranian Embassy in London.
woman, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, was a project manager with the Thomson
Reuters Foundation when she was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as
she headed back to Britain with her young daughter, Gabriella, after a family
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, now 40, was sentenced to five years in jail after being
convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, a charge
strongly denied by her family and the foundation, a charity that operates
independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News.
I received a phone call from Nazanin in prison,” her husband, Richard
Ratcliffe, said in a statement on Saturday. “She had informed the judiciary
that she has begun a new hunger strike — she will drink water — to protest at
her continuing unfair imprisonment.”
sounded nervous, but calm,” he added. “Her demand from the strike, she said, is
for unconditional release. She has long been eligible for it.”
judiciary could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday. Tehran has
previously said that her case is in the judiciary’s hands.
hunger strike comes amid heightened tensions between the West and Iran, which
the United States and Britain blame for explosions on two oil tankers in the
Gulf of Oman last week. Iran has denied involvement.
poster of Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy in London in March.
has long called for Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release, a demand repeated on
Twitter by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Saturday. Her jailing has added
further tension to Britain’s already strained ties with Iran.
2017, Boris Johnson, then the foreign secretary and now the front-runner to
replace Theresa May as prime minister, was accused of worsening her plight when
he told Parliament that her conviction for sedition was a mockery of justice
because she had been “simply teaching people journalism.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s employer, family and local parliamentary representative
said Mr. Johnson’s statement was not only untrue but had also created new risks
for her. Days after Mr. Johnson’s comments, Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was taken to
a new court hearing to face fresh charges, and Mr. Johnson’s words were cited
as evidence that she had been engaged in “propaganda against the regime.”
January, Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe went on a three-day hunger strike after her
family said she had been refused permission to see a doctor to examine lumps in
her breast and to address other health issues. Her family said she had ended
the hunger strike a few days later after she was granted medical treatment.
husband said he, too, would stage a hunger strike from Saturday: outside the
Iranian Embassy in London.
Ratcliffe said his wife “had vowed that if we passed Gabriella’s fifth birthday
with her still inside, then she would do something — to mark to both
governments that enough is enough. This really has gone on too long.”
diplomatic attempts to secure her release have so far failed. Mr. Hunt granted
Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in March, but Iranian officials
have refuse to recognize her dual nationality.
year, she was granted a three-day furlough to see her young daughter and other
relatives, then returned to prison.
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