Iran has released British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, her lawyer Hojjat Kermani told Iranian website Emtedad on Sunday, after her five-year prison sentence for plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment.
“She was pardoned by Iran’s Supreme Leader last year, but spent the last year of her term under house arrest with electronic shackles tied to her feet. Now they’re cast off,” Kermani told the website. “She has been freed.”
Iran’s judiciary officials have yet to comment about the release.
It was not immediately clear whether she was allowed to leave Iran. Kermani was quoted as saying that “a hearing for Zaghari’s second case has been scheduled at branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran” according to the website.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at a Tehran airport in April 2016 as she prepared to head back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit.
She was later sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment. Her family and the foundation, a charity that operates independently of media firm Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters, deny the charge.
She was released from jail in March last year and put under house arrest in Tehran in response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in Iran’s prisons, but her movements were restricted and she was barred from leaving the country.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has urged Tehran to release Zaghari-Ratcliffe following the official end of her five-year sentence, according to AFP.
“We welcome the removal of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s ankle tag, but Iran’s continued treatment of her is intolerable,” he said.
“She must be allowed to return to the UK as soon as possible to be reunited with her family,” he added on Twitter.
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