Accessibility links

Breaking News

Husband Of Jailed UK-Iranian Woman Hopes She Is Pardoned By Khamenei

British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is seen at her parent's home, in Tehran, Iran March 17, 2020.

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Nazain Zaghari-Ratcliffe, on Wednesday said he is 'hopeful' she will be one of 3,000 people pardoned by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Speaking to Sky News Mr. Ratcliffe said Nazanin's lawyer has been summoned to the prosecutor's office and Nazanin and her family are awaiting the authorities' latest decision about Nazanin.

On May 23 Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's website said he had agreed with Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisee's request to pardon 3,721 prisoners on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr.

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic gives the Supreme Leader the power to grant pardons or reduce sentences of prisoners. The decree to pardon prisoners is usually issued on important religious occasions such as the Eid al-Fitr or the birthday of the Prophet or before Nowrouz, the Iranian New Year festival.

The forty-one-year-old Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been on furlough from Evin prison since March 17 when thousands of prisoners were released due to fears of contracting COVID-19 in prison. She is required to wear an ankle bracelet and must remain within 300 meters of her parents' house. The furlough was extended until May 27 and now the authorities must make another decision about her circumstances.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an employee of the Thomson-Reuters Foundation, was arrested at Tehran's International Imam khomeini Airport in April 2016. She was waiting for her flight to go back to Britain after visiting relatives in Iran with her young daughter Gabriela.

Britain has repeatedly demanded the release of Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual national imprisoned in Iran including Anoush Ashouri, a businessman and Kamal Foroughi, a gas and oil consultant, who was released from prison after nine years on April 1.