Skip to main content

Iran sentences two dual nationals to more than 10 years in prison, says lawyer

German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi and UK-Iranian Mehran Raouf, both activists, jailed on national security charges
Taghavi, 66, a human rights activist who lives in Germany but retained an apartment in Tehran, was arrested there in October 2020 while on a visit (Amnesty International)

An Iranian Revolutionary Court has sentenced two dual nationals, German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi and British-Iranian Mehran Raouf, to more than 10 years in prison, each on national security charges, their lawyer said on Wednesday.

Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners in recent years, mostly on espionage and security-related charges.

Those detained have accused Iran of trying to win concessions from other countries through arrests on trumped-up charges. 

Iran says it is prepared to release all US 'political prisoners' in full exchange
Read More »

Tehran does not recognise dual nationality and says these arrests are based on its criminal code. It denies holding people for political reasons.

In a Twitter post, the two defendants' lawyer Mostafa Nili said: "Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Ms. #Nahid_Taghavi and Mr. #Mehran_Raouf to 10 years in prison for participating in the management of an illegal group and to eight months in prison for propaganda activities against the regime."

Iran's judiciary has yet to report the sentences, but Taghavi's daughter Mariam Claren tweeted a confirmation of her sentence. 

Nili did not say whether Taghavi and Raouf had entered pleas in response to the charges, Reuters reported.

'Prolonged solitary confinement'

Raouf, a 64-year-old labour rights activist who lived between Iran and Britain, was arrested at his residence in Tehran on 16 October last year by the IRGC, according to Amnesty International.

The rights group said in February that Raouf was being held in "prolonged solitary confinement, in violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment". 

Taghavi, 66, a human rights activist who lives in Germany, but had an apartment in Tehran, was arrested there in October 2020 while on a visit. 

Iran upholds death sentence for dissident journalist it 'lured' from France
Read More »

She had spent years fighting for human rights in Iran, in particular for women's rights and freedom of expression, according to the rights group IGFM.

Her trial began on 28 April, according to Claren and human rights groups.

"My mother was allowed to see her brothers. They hugged her. Her first hug after almost 7 months," Claren tweeted on 28 April.

According to Claren, her mother has been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, where she contracted Covid-19 last month, AFP reported.

Claren has repeatedly flagged up warnings about Taghavi's health, saying that she suffers from pre-existing conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes.

A German foreign ministry spokesman said during a regular news conference in Berlin on Wednesday that Germany could not extend consular assistance to Taghavi as she was on trial in her home country.

Frank Schwabe, who is the spokesperson on human rights issues for the opposition Social Democrats, condemned the verdict.

"The charges are baseless and the verdict a farce," he wrote on Twitter.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.