Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: ‘Deeply unsettled’ West Hampstead woman still waits for decision on extension of temporary release from prison amid coronavirus

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been released on a temporary furlough amid the coronavirus crisis. Pic

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been released on a temporary furlough amid the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Free Nazanin - Credit: Archant

After a month out of prison on furlough during the coronavirus pandemic, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces another “deeply unsettling” couple of days as the Iranian regime force her to wait to find out if her temporary release will be extended.

Nazanin’s furlough was extended by two weeks in late March, and she was scheduled to return to prison on Saturday.

Her family were first told on Saturday to return to find out a decision on Sunday, but that has now been delayed again – they were told to return to the Prosecutors Office on Tuesday to find out more.

Her husband Richard said: “Nazanin’s father and lawyer were separately told to come back on Tuesday. No news on clemency, no news on furlough extension.”

Although all furloughs for non-political prisoners were extended for another month, those detained on political charges depend on a decision from the authorities.

Richard added: “It has become deeply unsettling for Nazanin to have this to and fro every other day. Some days it really feels like gratuitous power games.

“But now we look to Tuesday, and hope for them to be brave, and take the next step in letting her go.”

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The family’s Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq tweeted: “I’ve just heard from Richard, Nazanin’s husband, that she is still not sure if her furlough will be extended and must ask again on Tuesday.

“The agonising wait continues with no certainty, but still the possibility for good news exists.”

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s director, said: “This delay will be another painful blow for Nazanin and her family.

“Nazanin’s case has been a complete travesty of justice from start to finish.”

Nazanin has been living in relative isolation at her parents’ house in Tehran while the country gets to grips with the coronavirus outbreak.

She has to wear an ankle tag during the furlough, and can only go within a 300-metre range of her parents’ home.