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27 May 06:10

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe News

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an Iranian-British dual citizen who was controversially detained in Iran from 3 April 2016 to 16 March 2022.

Before her arrest, Zaghari-Ratcliffe lived in London with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their young daughter, Gabriella, and worked as a project manager for the charity Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe took her daughter to Iran in March 2016 to visit family, but was arrested at the airport as she was about to board the plane home to the UK. Iranian authorities alleged Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was plotting to topple the government in Tehran.

The British-Iranian was sentenced to five years in prison, prompting a high-profile campaign for her release, including an online petition that has received more than 3.5m signatures. In March 2021 Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released from house arrest after her five-year prison term expired, but was subsequently sentenced to another year in jail on charges of "propaganda activities against the regime" in Iran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe and high profile human rights groups maintained her innocence. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a UN subsidiary body, declared that: "Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been arbitrarily deprived of her liberty and that her right to a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal has been violated."

It has been widely claimed that Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other British-Iranian dual nationals jailed in Iran were held hostage until the UK repaid a debt arising from arms sales to the shah of Iran in the mid-1970s. In March 2022 repayment of the debt coincided with the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori.

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