Features

Nazanin’s Family Forced to Hire an Ankle Tag to Facilitate Her Furlough

March 17, 2020
Saleem Vaillancourt
1 min read
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family was forced to hire an ankle tag for her temporary release.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family was forced to hire an ankle tag for her temporary release.
Richard Ratcliffe (upper right) has campaigned for Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release since her 2016 arrest.
Richard Ratcliffe (upper right) has campaigned for Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release since her 2016 arrest.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman who has been held in Iran’s Even Prison since April 2016, has been released on temporary furlough.

Iranian authorities have obliged Zaghari-Ratcliffe to wear an ankle tag – which her parents, who live in Tehran, were forced to hire from the authorities – during her temporarily release. Zaghari-Ratcliffe will also be limited to moving no more than 300 meters from her family’s home.

The furlough comes as the Iranian government released approximately 85,000 prisoners – both criminal cases and “security” or political cases – to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease through Iranian prisons.

Iran is the third-worst hit of the more than 100 countries which now have reported coronavirus cases. The government has reported at least 16,000 cases, which nearly a thousand dead, though reports suggest that the numbers are actually far higher. Observers and activists have been concerned for several days that Iranian prisons – known for extreme over-crowding – would become dangerously overrun by the outbreak.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in April 2016 as she was about to return home to the United Kingdom. The authorities charged her with “espionage” and similar crimes – but observers say the arrest was designed to pressure the British government.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has since campaigned for her release. Her furlough will end on April 4 – four years and a day after her first arrest.

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