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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Husband of jailed UK-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe demands answers

Richard Ratcliffe protested outside the UK Foreign Office to ask for updates on his wife, who remains imprisoned in Tehran

Richard Ratcliffe views stones and placards with messages placed on the pavement outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during a demonstration to demand the release of his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is imprisoned in Iran. Henry Nicholls/ Reuters
Richard Ratcliffe views stones and placards with messages placed on the pavement outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during a demonstration to demand the release of his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is imprisoned in Iran. Henry Nicholls/ Reuters

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran, on Saturday demanded urgent updates from the Foreign Office in London about what was holding up her return to the UK.

Richard Ratcliffe, who took part in a small gathering outside the Foreign Office, said there had been positive signs from the Iranian authorities but the family did not know when she might be coming home.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation – the media organisation's philanthropic arm – was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016.

She is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition – charges she has always denied.

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Read more:

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"We've been getting better messages from the Iranian side, from the judiciary and the prosecutor's office in Iran," Mr Ratcliffe told Sky News television.

"This week the head of prison said, 'Oh yes, I've approved her release, I approved it a number of months ago'. So there's been clearly things to hold on to, hopefully.

"Part of the aspiration of today's message to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is I would like to meet to ask, 'What's the blockage? What's going on?'"

The Foreign Office did not comment on Ratcliffe's reported updates.

A spokeswoman said: "We will continue to approach each case in a way that we judge is most likely to secure the outcome we all want.

"Therefore we will not be providing a running commentary on every twist and turn."

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