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Politics

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe flies home after being detained in Iran for six years

Nazanin’s MP Tulip Siddiq shared a picture of her on a plane back to the UK

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is flying home from Iran, almost six years after she was first detained on spying charges.

Anoosheh Ashoori, a 67-year-old British-Iranian businessman detained by Iran since 2017, was also released on Wednesday.

After being arrested in Iran in 2016 while taking her daughter to visit family, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison for “plotting to topple the Iranian government” – a charge she always denied.

The British-Iranian dual national received her passport on Tuesday flew home to husband Richard and daughter Gabrielle on Wednesday.

Her MP, Tulip Siddiq, shared a picture of her on the plane, saying: “Nazanin is now in the air flying away from 6 years of hell in Iran.

“My heart goes out to Gabriella and Richard, as her long journey back home to them gets closer by the minute.

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, went on hunger strike for 21 days in October 2021, in an attempt to force the government to secure her release.

Ratcliffe, among others, argued a payment of £400m allegedly owed by the UK to Iran would have secured his wife’s release.

She was given temporary prison leave during the pandemic and went to stay with her parents in Tehran. She could not leave the country – or even travel more than 300 metres from her parents’ home due to the ankle tag she was forced to wear.

In April 2021 she was handed a further year’s sentence for “spreading propaganda”.

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