Husband of British-Iranian Detainee Nasrin Roshan Urges Britain to Secure Her Release 

By Natasha Phillips

A British-Iranian woman, Nasrin Roshan, has been detained in Iran’s Evin prison since Nov. 16 on charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” and “assembly and collusion against national security,” and sentenced to three years in prison, according to her husband Arash Asiabi.

Asiabi, a black cab driver in London, said the 60-year-old mother of one had been arrested for attending a 2023 event in Egypt to commemorate the late shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and for taking part in the ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ protests in London after the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran.

Nasrin with Empress Farah Pahlavi in Egypt one month before Nasrin’s arrest.

Speaking to Kayhan Life, Asiabi said Iran authorities had amassed a cache of photos of his wife which were used in evidence against her at her court hearings.

“People around the world were attending these demonstrations, but for whatever reason they had pictures,” Asiabi said. “They had pictures of her and Empress Farah Pahlavi. They had pictures of our private life, birthday parties we had attended, and her birthday party. They had more than 60 pictures. They showed her a few of these pictures, including the ones where she was attending rallies in London.”

Roshan was arrested in November at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran after visiting her sick aunt. Her husband’s niece, 20-year-old Sara Tabrizi who was traveling with her, was also detained. Tabrizi was spared jail but died in her sleep at home 24 hours after her release under circumstances the family are calling “suspicious.”

Roshan was sent to Ward 209 in Evin prison, a section in the infamous prison controlled by Iran’s intelligence ministry, where she was interrogated for almost two months and spent ten days in solitary confinement. Roshan was sentenced to four years in prison which was then reduced to three years, but shortly after Tabrizi’s death, she was told by a judge that her sentence had been further reduced to 13 months.

Arash and his wife Nasrin celebrating her birthday two months before her arrest

When her lawyer, Ali Sharifzadeh Ardakani, went to court to submit papers to confirm the reduction in her sentence, he was told by officials that there had been a mistake and that Roshan would have to serve her three-year sentence in full.

The withdrawal of that reduction, Asiabi told Kayhan Life, changed the family’s initial decision to stay quiet about Roshan’s imprisonment.

Asiabi now hopes to secure a meeting with the UK Home Office.

“I’m looking forward to a meeting. My wife is a citizen of this country and I expect nothing less than support for any citizen of this country in this situation,” Asiabi said. “I’m hoping that they can put pressure on Iran’s government. I know that she’s not going to be freed tomorrow, but at least we can say that they understand that she’s being watched, everybody knows about her case and the government of the UK knows about it.”

Roshan is currently in the same prison ward as several prominent female human rights activists including Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Hashemi, a women’s rights campaigner and former member of parliament in Iran, is a vocal critic of the Iranian regime and has been imprisoned several times.

While the exact number of dual nationals detained in Iran is not known, at least one other British-Iranian, Mehran Raoof, remains in prison. Several dual nationals have been sentenced to death in recent months, including the German-Iranian Jamshid Sharmahd and the Swedish-Iranian Ahmad-Reza Djalali.

The arbitrary detention of dual nations in Iran has become a globally recognized phenomenon. A bi-partisan bill in the US titled the “Targeting Oppressive Officers to Mitigate Abuse in the Iranian Judiciary Act, (the TOOMAJ Act) was introduced into US Congress on May 31 and focuses on preventing the unjust detention of Iranian-Americans in Iran. The bill, if passed, would also allow the US government to place sanctions on individuals involved in all 70 branches of the Islamic Revolutionary Courts in the country.

Reza Pahlavi Says Iran Is Held ‘Hostage’ By the Regime 

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