Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual-national charity worker, was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport on 3 April 2016 prior to boarding a plane back to the UK after a regular family visit to the country with her infant daughter Gabriella. After being detained in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison in September 2016 after being convicted of “membership of an illegal group” in a grossly unfair trial by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. © Free Nazanin

UK: The release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori hasn’t come a moment too soon

In response to reports that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have been released from detention in Iran and are about to leave the country, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO, said:

“This is fantastic news, but it hasn’t come a moment too soon.  

“Nazanin and Anoosheh should never have been detained in the first place – they were both jailed on trumped-up national security charges, a familiar tactic in Iran.

“Nazanin and Anoosheh have unquestionably been used as political pawns by the Iranian authorities – and the Iranian authorities have acted with calculated cruelty, seeking to wring the maximum diplomatic value out of their captivity.

“The Government needs to follow up on Nazanin and Anoosheh’s release by immediately renewing its calls for the release of the UK nationals Morad Tahbaz and Mehran Raoof, both of whom are still going through an ordeal all too similar to Nazanin and Anoosheh’s.

“It’s been clear for years that the Iranian authorities are targeting foreign nationals with spurious national security-related charges to exert diplomatic pressure, and it’s more important than ever that Britain works multilaterally to combat this insidious practice.”