LONDON — A British cultural group stated on Wednesday that certainly one of its staff from Iran had been acquitted of espionage costs by that nation’s Supreme Courtroom and was again in Britain after spending greater than three years in jail.
Whereas visiting her grandmother in Iran, the lady, Aras Amiri, was arrested in March 2018 together with other Iranians with British connections, in what was considered an try by the authorities to achieve leverage in an outdated dispute with Britain over greater than $400 million in undelivered weaponry.
Ms. Amiri, an artwork scholar employed for 5 years by the British Council to facilitate “greater appreciation of Iranian culture in the U.K.,” is an Iranian citizen who had lived in Britain for about 10 years earlier than she was detained. Iran’s Supreme Courtroom acquitted her in August, the council stated, and she or he returned to Britain this week after the journey ban related together with her authentic detention was lifted.
She had been sentenced to 10 years in jail in April 2019, a punishment introduced on state TV earlier than she or her lawyer had been knowledgeable, based on a letter Ms. Amiri wrote in June 2019 from jail, which her cousin, Mohsen Omrani, despatched to the Center for Human Rights in Iran, a New York-based advocacy group.
In keeping with the letter, which was addressed to the Iranian judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, Ms. Amiri stated that she had been imprisoned due to her affiliation with the British Council and that she had turned down an “express invitation” to spy for Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ms. Amiri’s lawyer, Hojjat Kermani, stated that Iran’s Supreme Courtroom had decided that her earlier espionage conviction was “towards Shariah,” or Islamic legislation.
“We’ve at all times refuted the unique costs made towards Aras,” the British Council stated in a statement on Wednesday. “We’re very happy with her work in our London workplace as an arts program officer.”
Ms. Amiri was incarcerated in Evin Jail, north of Tehran. Earlier than her acquittal and return to Britain, Ms. Amiri had been launched on furlough in April 2020 over considerations in regards to the unfold of coronavirus.
The case underscored the Iranian authorities’ concentrating on of twin residents and Iranian residents with Western connections as bargaining chips in geopolitical disputes.
A British-Iranian national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a venture supervisor with the Thomson Reuters Basis, was sentenced to 5 years in jail in 2016 after she was accused of plotting to overthrow the federal government in Tehran. She was issued one other one-year sentence and travel ban in April, below new costs of conducting “propaganda actions” towards the Iranian authorities.
Several foreign and dual nationals are held in Iranian prisons, together with Nahid Taghavi, a German-Iranian architect; Siamak Namazi, a businessman, and his father, Baquer Namazi, a former official with Unicef, each Iranian Individuals; Dr. Ahmad Reza Jalali, a Swedish-Iranian doctor and researcher; and Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian-American environmentalist.
Farnaz Fassihi contributed reporting.