A British woman who went to visit family in Iran has been locked up for five months in Evin prison for saying things on Facebook.
Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht, from Stockport, was arrested as she stepped off a plane in the provincial city of Shiraz and accused of being a spy, husband Daryoush Taghipoor told the Manchester Evening News.
Daryoush said his 47-year-old wife has been detained at Evin, an infamous prison in Iranian capital Tehran, on suspicion of plotting to commit crimes against security and insulting Islam.
He claimed her arrest was over comments she made on an internet chat forum and to friends on Facebook about the Iranian government being too controlling and ‘too Islamic’.
Part-time chef Daryoush and Roya, an English student at Stockport College, have lived in Heald Green for six years and are naturalised British citizens.
This is not good.
The 47-year-old, speaking from Iran, added: “It’s a very bad situation. We don’t know what’s going on. Roya is not well at all. She has lost three stone and is frightened. She is scared that the government will kill her.”
For saying things on Facebook.
The threat of execution could be real, the International Business Times reports.
Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht, 47, from Stockport, has been detained in an Iranian prison and charged with “insulting Islamic sanctities”, a crime punishable by death.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it is “urgently” examining Nobakht’s case, yet negotiations are difficult as Britain has no embassy in Iran.
Also because Iran is Iran.
From the UK government’s website:
Not only did the Iranian government know she was coming, they gave her a visa to get in. If she was an “undesirable”, why give her one?
Most countries would toss people back on the plane who came for landing visas, and certainly wouldn’t give one to people they don’t want in their country. This reeks of a hostage taking for political purposes. They wanted her to come so they could hold her and use her.
Kaveh Mousavi says
The threat is real but not too great: they rarely execute famous people or people with dual nationalities.
Kaveh Mousavi says
left0ver1under: People who are in charge of issuing visas and people who are in charge of arresting people are not the same. It’s wrong to assume Iran’ regime is that monolithic and organized.
Some Iranians are asking diplomats if they can come back and the answer is “we don’t know”.
There may be little or nothing the UK government can do. In most cases of dual nationality you have no protection from one government when in the jurisdiction of the other. For instance, as a canadian citizen I can’t invoke protection from the UK government if in trouble in Canada and I can’t invoke protection from the Canadian government if in trouble in the UK.
This does point out however that, as in the days of the soviet empire, once one has left one had better not go back. It also points out the extent to which the iranian government is monitoring the internet. It isn’t just the NSA. Nobody is safe – anywhere. And it’s likely the iranian government issued the visa precisely to be able to arrest her on arrival.