‘Anxious’ husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe unsure if she’ll be freed when sentence ends

Leah Sinclair
·2 min read
<p>Richard Ratcliffe</p> (PA)

Richard Ratcliffe


The husband of a British woman detained in Iran does not know if she will be freed once her sentence ends on Sunday.

British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Tehran since 2016, when she was sentenced to five years in prison over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.

Her sentence is scheduled to end on Sunday but husband Richard Ratcliffe told Sky News he is still trying to confirm if she will be able to return to London and be reunited with her family, including her young daughter, Gabriella.

"We’re obviously sitting very anxiously here, and she’s sitting anxiously waiting in Iran," said Mr Ratcliffe.

"The judiciary have confirmed on the computer and shown that yes, indeed tomorrow is the last day and she should be released, but the arrangements haven’t been clarified".

Mr Ratcliffe said her lawyer in Iran had gone to the prosecutor’s office to find out what is happening.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sentence ends on Sunday
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sentence ends on Sunday

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been out of prison since last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic and has been under house arrest at her parents’ home in Tehran.

She was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport while travelling to see her parents in April 2016.

According to Mr Ratcliffe, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the family that officials are trying "really hard" to secure her release but he isn’t sure it will happen on schedule.

Mr Ratcliffe told Sky News that if his wife is not released on Sunday it will be a "watershed moment" that calls into question the Foreign Office strategy.

“We’ve had a calendar that she’s [Gabriella] been counting down because Mummy did one in Iran, so she wanted to do one here," he said.

"And while we were back at 30 days she was very excited and it felt like doing an advent calendar. As we’ve got closer she’s picked up on the uncertainty, and obviously children do pick up on the mood.

"She started asking last night ‘is mummy really coming home?’ And I had to say ‘I really don’t know’".

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