British-Iranian aid worker temporarily released from jail

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe denies plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her daughter following her temporary release from an Iranian prison. Photograph:   Getty Images

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her daughter following her temporary release from an Iranian prison. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Detained British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has been released from jail in Iran for three days, her supporters said on Thursday.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she was heading back to Britain with her two-year-old daughter after a family visit.

She was convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, a charge denied by her family and the foundation, a charity organisation that is independent of Thomson Reuters and operates independently of Reuters News.

Britain’s foreign minister Jeremy Hunt welcomed what he said on Twitter was “really good news”, and said Britain would push for a permanent release.

Supporters

The Free Nazanin campaign group said Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released from Evin prison on furlough on Thursday morning and was currently with her family in Damavand in Tehran province.

The statement from her supporters quoted Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe as saying it would be “just awesome” for her daughter Gabriella to finally have her home.

“The thought of brushing her hair, and giving her a bath, of being able to take her to the park, and feed her, and sleep next to her – it just kills me,” she said in the statement. “It is still so hard to believe.”

She said she had received indications she would be allowed out of jail but had feared it would not happen. “I wasn’t expecting it at all when it was mentioned two weeks ago. I didn’t tell Gabriella or for a long time my mum – so if it didn’t happen I would be the only one to suffer.”

Thomson Reuters Foundation chief executive Monique Villa said it was a positive sign and she hoped that it would lead to her permanent release.