UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe prison leave extended

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in photo issued after her release from Evin prison in March 2020 Image copyright Free Nazanin Campaign
Image caption Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has always denied the charges against her

British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has had her temporary leave from prison in Tehran extended by two weeks, her husband has said.

The 41-year-old was released from Evin prison on 17 March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Richard Ratcliffe also said his wife's file had been put forward to the Iranian prosecutor general for consideration for clemency.

She was jailed in 2016 on spying charges that she has always denied.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been at her parents' home in Tehran since being freed but is required to wear an ankle tag and remain within 300m of the property.

Former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted that the latest development was "a glimmer of hope amidst the darkness".

"Let's pray that this remarkable family are reunited soon," he added.

Her MP, Tulip Siddiq, said on Twitter: "Every extra day Nazanin is out of jail is better than the alternative - but we must not lose focus on getting her home and away from the danger of coronavirus in Iran as soon as possible."

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from Hampstead, north-west London, was serving a five-year sentence.

Her British-born daughter Gabriella, who was with her when she was detained, returned to the UK last October to start school. She had been living with her grandparents.

Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by Covid-19, with 139 people dying over the last 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 2,517.

It has temporarily released tens of thousands of prisoners in recent weeks in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier this month it said it had released about 85,000 prisoners who had tested negative for the virus and had posted bail.

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