Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

Britain’s Theresa May calls on Iran to release jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

The British prime minister met Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in New York

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugs her daughter Gabriella, in Iran. Free Nazanin Campaign
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugs her daughter Gabriella, in Iran. Free Nazanin Campaign

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May has called for the release of jailed British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe.

Mrs May raised the charity worker’s case with Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, Downing Street said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is currently serving a five-year prison sentence in Tehran for espionage charges, having been detained since April 2016. She denies the charges.

The British prime minister told Mr Rouhani she had “serious concerns” about the imprisonment of the mother-of-one.

Britain’s foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt also met his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif for the first time.

"I again pressed for Nazanin's swift release. She deserves to be back at home with her family," Mr Hunt said in a statement.

He added that it was "not acceptable to detain innocent people arbitrarily at the cost of enormous human anguish".


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Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been on holiday visiting family with her then one-year-old daughter, Gabriella, when she was arrested at Tehran Airport on her way back to Britain.

Her daughter, now four, has been staying with Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s parents in Iran since her incarceration.

The 39-year-old was recently granted a three-day temporary furlough from jail to visit her family, sparking hopes of a permanent release.

But she was later returned to prison where her family say she has suffered several panic attacks.

Updated: September 26, 2018 06:24 PM