MOTHER AWAITS IRAN’S DECISION ON JAIL RETURN
T HE husband of imprisoned charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe should learn today whether she must return to prison tonight after her temporary release.
There were hopes that the British-Iranian mother’s leave could be extended after she was released from Evin jail in Tehran on Thursday but, as of last night, the family were still waiting for news.
Speaking to Sky News yesterday, her husband Richard Ratcliffe said the family were “nervous” about hopes that her temporary release could be extended after she had been reunited with her four-yearold daughter Gabriella after more than two years in jail.
He said yesterday: “Her lawyer went to speak with the prosecutor’s office yesterday morning and got told to come back for a decision on Sunday. He seemed very calm and very reassuring although we’re terribly nervous. As things stand she’ll have to go back to prison at the end of Sunday.”
He said the three days spent with her family had left Mrs ZaghariRatcliffe experiencing mixed emotions.
“Two days ago she was euphoric, a lot of the family came round on Friday and she was lovely and happy. On Saturday she went to see Gabriella’s nursery and went for a coffee with the family, but as time has gone on, she’s got pretty nervous.
“We were hoping for clarity on Saturday, we’re certainly hoping for it on Sunday morning, in a good way.”
He described her “pretty up and down”.
“On Friday night, she was pretty worried. We’re on a journey of baby steps, we’re glad this weekend has been a positive one, hopefully there’ll be another one soon.”
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from Hampstead, north London, was sentenced to five years in jail after being accused of spying by Tehran’s Islamist regime.
She denies the allegation and said she was on holiday in Iran to allow her daughter to spend time with relatives there.
Gabriella has been staying with family since Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was detained at Imam Khomeini airport in April mood as 2016. Mr Ratcliffe said his wife had seen media coverage about her temporary release, and was pleased to see the Iranian ambassador to the UK had tweeted a picture of mother and daughter as they were reunited.
Mr Ratcliffe said: “It’s great for Nazanin today to be seeing all the news attention and realise how much care there is out there.”
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sister-inlaw Rebecca Jones, a GP living in Cardiff, has described the temporary release as a step “towards the end of this nightmare”.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday the temporary release was “extremely positive” and called on Iranian authorities to allow her to return to her family in the UK.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was reunited with her daughter Gabriella last week