Release of British-Iranian woman in doubt despite end of sentence

Published March 7, 2021
In this file photo, Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe (seen in poster), sits outside the Iranian Embassy on the day he ended his 15-day hunger strike and his imprisoned wife also ended her own hunger in an Iran jail. — AP
In this file photo, Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe (seen in poster), sits outside the Iranian Embassy on the day he ended his 15-day hunger strike and his imprisoned wife also ended her own hunger in an Iran jail. — AP

LONDON: The release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a UK-Iraninan dual national held in Tehran, could be in doubt, her husband told the BBC on Saturday, a day before the end of her five-year jail term.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was detained in Iran in 2016, is due to be released on Sunday, the official end of a sentence over charges she plotted to overthrow the regime in Tehran.

Nazanin, now 42, has strenuously denied the accusations with her case becoming a matter of major diplomatic disagreement between Britain and Iran during the five years she has spent separated from her husband and young daughter. Despite the official end of the sentence, Nazanin’s husband Richard Ratcliffe told the BBC her detention has “the potential to drag on and on”.

“It’s perfectly possible that Nazanin gets a new court case thrown at her,” he said.

In September, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was summoned before an Iranian court and notified of a new indictment against her, Iranian state media reported at the time.

Richard Ratcliffe, who has campaigned for his wife’s return, said the family had “never seen a copy of the charges on which she was sentenced”.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2021

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