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Zaghari-Ratcliffe says Foreign Office complicit in forcing her to confess | Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has accused the UK Foreign Office of being complicit in forcing her to signal a letter of false confession to the Iranian authorities as a part of the last-minute phrases of her launch in March.

She signed the letter at Tehran airport as she waited to discover out whether or not she can be allowed to depart Iran after six years in detention.

The allegations, in a 20-page letter to the international secretary, Liz Truss, completely obtained by the Guardian, recommend she was shocked when she came upon the Foreign Office had agreed this situation as a part of her launch, including its actions had “taken a huge personal toll on her and caused her severe trauma”.

She says in the letter written by her legal professionals from the human rights group Redress, who’ve known as for a full investigation in to the Foreign Office, that “UK officials were complicit in an unlawful act by the Iranian authorities, telling her that she must sign a false confession in circumstances where she effectively had no other choice”.

The legal professionals declare “the actions of UK officials appear contrary to the UK policy not to ‘participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or mistreatment for any purpose’”. The letter provides that the Foreign Office’s actions made the standing of different UK detainees in Iran extra precarious.

The revelations recommend the Foreign Office and Downing Street have at finest not been simple in revealing the phrases for her launch.

In the letter, the legal professionals from Redress say Zaghari-Ratcliffe asserts the requirement to signal the confession induced her lasting harm, and made her terrified of reprisals in London. They say: “Zaghari-Ratcliffe had resisted intense pressure to make a false confession on many occasions during interrogations and during her eight and a half months in solitary confinement. To be told to sign a false confession by her own government after all she had survived was deeply distressing to her.”

In the ultimate three days earlier than her launch, Redress has revealed, Iranian officers accused Zaghari-Ratcliffe of being a spy, taunted her by providing her launch after which threatening to revoke it, and tried to get her to – and finally pressured her to – signal a doc confessing to unspecified crimes.

The letter reveals the British ambassador known as her on 14 March and informed her she had to attend a meeting with Iranian officers to acquire a brand new Iranian passport, regardless that her Iranian lawyer had suggested her not attend.

The letter says: “The ambassador picked her up in an embassy car, drove her to the government office and waited outside. Again Zaghari-Ratcliffe was required to attend the office alone. She was accused by Iranian officials of being a spy, was told that if she loved Iran she wouldn’t have done what she did, and asked if she regretted it. She was informed they were exchanging her for half a billion dollars. They then pressured her to sign a document purporting to confess to unspecified charges and promising not to sue the Iranian government. The document appeared to be a standardised form with blank spaces to fill in details of the alleged crimes and the confession. Zaghari-Ratcliffe steadfastly refused to sign this document.”

At this level, she recounts in the letter, a “particularly sinister official was brought into the room to scare her. He accused her of being a spy and ruining Iran and told her: ‘If you don’t sign this, you won’t go home.’” Zaghari-Ratcliffe finally relented to writing out a separate doc in her personal handwriting which eliminated the phrases “I confess”. The ambassador assured her afterwards that the doc had no authorized standing, she says.

The following day on the airport she was filmed and intimidated together with by one in every of her interrogators throughout her preliminary interval of solitary confinement, she reveals. The letter says she grew to become “so frightened of this interrogator that she began shivering. He told her: ‘You do realise we have the power to ruin you even if you are not in Iran?’”

The letter continues that “at around 2pm, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was approached by the UK’s lead negotiator. By this time Zaghari-Ratcliffe was feeling deeply stressed and had not had any lunch or refreshments, save for one instant coffee.

“The lead negotiator told her that the Iranians would not let her get on the plane unless she signed the document. Zaghari-Ratcliffe refused, and the lead negotiator told her that the confession would have no value and that she needed to sign it. Zaghari-Ratcliffe eventually agreed to sign the document if she could have her handwritten document back. Zaghari-Ratcliffe walked to a nearby wall and pulled up her scarf for privacy while she signed the document. The man filming her came up close to her while she was filling out the form. Zaghari-Ratcliffe and the lead negotiator both told him not to film.”

Redress mentioned the household “regard this forced confession as part and parcel of the pattern of torture Zaghari-Ratcliffe had suffered since she was first detained in 2016 as it involves further infliction of severe suffering. Signing false confessions was something Zaghari-Ratcliffe had resisted during numerous interrogation sessions at the hands of the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards], despite intolerable pressure and at enormous personal cost.”

The legal professionals mentioned the “years of abuse and manipulation of Zaghari-Ratcliffe at the hands of Iranian authorities, has caused her to suffer serious and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression and obsessive compulsive disorder”.

Redress accuses the Foreign Office of failing to adjust to its personal insurance policies and worldwide authorized obligations on torture and has demanded Truss fee an pressing review of the division’s torture insurance policies and their implementation.

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