U.K.-Iranian Woman's Temporary Prison Release Extended

U.K.-Iranian Woman's Temporary Prison Release Extended”

The temporary release of jailed charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been extended while Iranian authorities mull her request for clemency, her supporters said on Wednesday.

The Hampstead and Kilburn MP said the uncertainty is causing Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family "unimaginable stress", adding: "The Government must step up efforts to make sure her furlough is made permanent".

She was due to return to jail on Wednesday after being released on furlough in April but Iranian authorities said she would remain at her parents' home on a tag pending a long-term decision on her fate.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 41, was arrested at Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran in April 2016 as she was about to board a plane back to the United Kingdom following a family holiday in Iran.

The furlough has been extended until May 27 and judiciary officials have told Zaghari-Ratcliffe that they will decide during this period whether the rest of her sentence will be commuted, her lawyer, Mahmoud Behzadirad, told IRNA.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's amusing how quickly that nearly becomes normal again, seeing her on a Skype screen and being able to talk to her late at night and early in the morning".

More news: Man arrested for honour killings of cousins in North Waziristan

Her father has been asked to attend the prosecutor's office on Saturday. Many other Iranian political prisoners have been sent back to prison after they had been temporarily released during the coronavirus outbreak in the country in March and April.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said last night that the lawyer's words were "positive".

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is one of 125 identified security prisoners who is eligible for permanent release under the terms of the programme ordered by supreme leader Ali Khamenei in March, according to Iran Prison Atlas, a database of prisoners compiled by a US-based group.

She was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment.

Gabriella, now five, was allowed to fly back to London a year ago to live with her father and attend school. She speaks daily to her mother by Skype.

The family's MP, Tulip Siddiq, said that the uncertainty over her release was causing "unimaginable stress" and urged the United Kingdom government to step up efforts to make the furlough permanent.

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