Iran: Ratcliffe accused of attempt to overthrow regime through media and social media activities

On June 15 Nazanin Ratcliffe’s family were informed of the accusations made by the Iranian government against her through Iranian news agency Mirzan. The accusations reported are that Ratcliffe is involved in a plot to overthrow the Iranian regime. She is currently in Evin prison, having confirmed on 13 June that she has been moved from Kerman to Tehran.

The Iran’s Revolutionary Guard allege that “Nazanin was one of the ring leaders in efforts planning the overthrow of the Islamic regime through projects involving the media and social media, working under the direction of media companies and espionage networks belonging to foreign governments.” The allegations also maintain that Ratcliffe had participated in the “design and implementation of cyber and media projects to cause the soft toppling of the Islamic Republic.”  This information was not directly provided to Ratcliffe’s legal counsel or her family, and these are accusations that her family and relatives strongly deny.  

After over 70 days of detention, Ratcliffe has, to date, not had access to a lawyer, and contact with her husband was stopped after being discovered. Ratcliffe has never been allowed to discuss her case or any aspect of her interrogations with anyone outside of her interrogators, including any of her family members.

Her continued detention, lack of due process throughout her detention and the current allegations highlight the threat faced by those working in the NGO sectors and dual citizens linked to media agencies who travel to Iran. 

ARTICLE 19 is extremely concerned by the ongoing detention of Ratcliffe, as well as the lack of process regarding her case. We are also concerned by the targeting of media projects and NGOs, and the potential chilling effect this persecution will have on an already-supressed media and social media environment. 

See our previous statement around Ratfcliffe’s arrest for more information