British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe temporarily released from Tehran jail

Jailed British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been temporarily released in Iran for two weeks. (Supplied)
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Updated 18 March 2020

British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe temporarily released from Tehran jail

  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016
  • Earlier this month husband said he feared she had contracted coronavirus

LONDON: British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been temporarily released from prison in Iran as it struggles to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was part of a temporary release of 85,000 prisoners. She has been in prison since April 2016, and was sentenced in September that year to five years’ imprisonment for allegedly “plotting to topple the Iranian government.” She has vehemently denied all charges.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “I am relieved that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was today (Tuesday) temporarily released into the care of her family in Iran. We urge the regime to ensure she receives any necessary medical care.”

He added: “While this is a welcome step, we urge the government now to release all UK dual nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran, and enable them to return to their families in the UK.”

There are many other Britons and dual nationals detained in Iran on charges of spying or plotting against the regime.

Many have recently detailed the extent of sickness in Iranian jails, especially in the notorious Evin prison. 

Last week, British-Iranian political prisoner Anoosheh Ashoori sent a recorded message to his wife saying his jail was in chaos because of the virus. He appealed to the UK government to do more to help secure his temporary release.

Ashoori, 65, was moved to a different ward as coronavirus allegedly spread among his inmates.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release has been a major campaign effort for the British government, with several foreign secretaries calling for her freedom.

Soon after the news of her release was published, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was photographed smiling with a tracking device attached to her ankle.

She is permitted to remain within 300 meters of her family’s home during the temporary release. 

UAE confirms 851 new COVID-19 cases, one death

Updated 7 min 14 sec ago

UAE confirms 851 new COVID-19 cases, one death

  • Dubai Economy issued 22 fines, 2 warning to businesses
  • Kuwait records 345 cases and 4 deaths

DUBAI: UAE on Sunday recorded 851 new cases of COVID-19 and one death, bringing the total to 91,469 and 412 respectively.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention said 868 cases had recovered in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to 80,544 since the pandemic emerged.
The ministry also said it had conducted 106,034 new coronavirus tests during the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, during its daily inspections, Dubai Economy said it issued 22 fines and two warnings to commercial establishments for not adhering to anti COVID-19 measures.
Dubai Economy, in cooperation with Dubai Sports Council, said it also issued six fines and 10 warnings to sports facilities and sporting events in various regions of the emirate. The council had earlier issued detailed and precise instructions for each sporting facility and stadium.
The council said that the number of violations have decreased since previous weeks after it increased its efforts and renewed its call to training and fitness centers, academies and event organizers to fully adhere to instructions and apply preventive measures during their operational hours throughout the week.
Dubai Sports Council has been closing facilities and issuing penalties due to COVID-19 violations and last week it closed three facilities, issued nine fines and gave warnings to 35 other facilities
Elsewhere, Kuwait recorded 345 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 103,544, while the death toll stood at 601 after four new deaths were registered.
Oman’s health ministry said the the total number of cases recorded in the sultanate has reached 97,450, with 909 death, since the pandemic emerged.