Iran extends Zaghari-Ratcliffe's temporary release, lawyer says

Iranian prosecutors extend Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's furlough from prison

In March this year, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - like numerous prisoners in Iran - was released on a temporary furlough basis after fears that coronavirus could infect large numbers of detainees in Iran's overcrowded jails.

The British-Iranian dual-national, who has been held in Tehran as part of what has been termed "hostage diplomacy" remains was due to return to prison with her furlough set to expire on Wednesday. "Nazanin is unable as she still has the ankle tag preventing her from going more than 300m".

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was given fresh hope by the Iranian authorities last night that she could be free within days to return to Britain. "A first step would be for the British Ambassador to visit her under house arrest".

The furlough has been extended until May 27, her lawyer told the IRNA news agency on May 20.

Mr Ratcliffe said his wife was "relieved, happy, [but] not euphoric" when he spoke to her, and believes some Iranian officials may support her release. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Amnesty International U.K.'s director, Kate Allen, said that "another period of this "conditional liberty" is far better than outright jail, but we're anxious that the Iranian authorities are still playing games with Nazanin and her family".

Her attorneys had final week written to the overseas secretary, Dominic Raab, asking for him to dispatch the United Kingdom ambassador to Iran to see Zaghari-Ratcliffe in what would have been a present of solidarity together with her forward of the choice on her attainable return to jail.

She was later afforded diplomatic protection by the UK Government, which argues that she is innocent and that her treatment by Iran failed to meet its obligations under worldwide law.

Kate Allen, the charity's United Kingdom director, said: "Obviously, there should be no question of Nazanin ever being sent back to Evin prison".

"With Nazanin's long-term fate still apparently undecided, the UK Government must step up efforts do everything within its power to ensure her full and unconditional release".

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Our position is that Nazanin should not be in prison at all and that she should be allowed to return to the United Kingdom to be with her family".



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