Nazanin Zaghhari-Ratcliffe is finally back in the UK after being detained in Iran six year ago.
44-year-old British-Iranian mother-of-one arrived at RAF Brize Newton in Oxfordshire around 1am this morning with Anoosheh Ashoori, another ex-detainee.
Nazanin, Anoosheh and Anoosheh departed first. She waved at the cameras while she made her way down to the steps.
Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary, says she is “delighted”Nazanin is now on the ground.
She tweeted: “Delighted that Nazanin and Anoosheh have landed safely in the UK and are reunited with their families and loved ones. Welcome home.”
Their release follows months of diplomatic negotiations between London and Tehran, particularly over a £400million debt between the two governments.
Hojjat Kermani, Nazanin’s lawyer, confirmed yesterday that the two detainees were released. Later, a source close by the families confirmed that they had fled Iran.
Yesterday, the first photograph of Nazanin was finally released.
Nazanin was accused of plotting against the Iranian government and was later arrested. She vigorously denied this accusation.
Nazanin was going to see Gabriella, her daughter, when she was stopped by police and taken into custody.
Nazanin claimed that she was threatened by execution and torture of her family members.
She also said she was chained and blindfolded in prison – and suffered sensory and sleep deprivation.
She was kept in isolation for nine hours and was bombarded with bright lights, blaring TVs and loud music.
Richard, her husband, says Nazanin was suicidal after she spent a week in a mental hospital chained to a bed in 2018.
She was diagnosed as having PTSD, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Sacha Dashmukh, Amnesty International UK chief executive, stated: “This is fantastic news, but it hasn’t come a moment too soon.
“Nazanin and Anoosheh shouldn’t have been held in the first instance – they were both detained on trumped up national security charges. This is a common tactic in Iran.
“Nazanin and Anoosheh have unquestionably been used as political pawns by the Iranian authorities – and the Iranian authorities have acted with calculated cruelty, seeking to wring the maximum diplomatic value out of their captivity.
“The Government needs to follow up on Nazanin and Anoosheh’s release by immediately renewing its calls for the release of the UK nationals Mehran Raoof and Morad Tahbaz, both of whom are still going through an ordeal all too similar to Nazanin and Anoosheh’s.
“For years it has been evident that Iranian authorities are using diplomatic pressure to force foreign nationals to submit to false national security charges. This is why it’s crucial that Britain work multilaterally to end this insidious practice.”
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