News ID: 291423
Published: 0346 GMT March 07, 2021

British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari freed: Lawyer

British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari freed: Lawyer

A British-Iranian national jailed in Iran for espionage was released on Sunday after having served a five-year, her lawyer said.

Speaking to IRNA on Sunday, Hojjat Kermani added that Nazanin Zaghari was freed after the termination of her jail term and her ankle monitor was removed.

“Today (Sunday) the five-year [prison] sentence of Ms. Zaghari was finished and her ankle monitor was removed taking into account that since a year ago she was under house arrest, carrying an ankle monitor, which allowed her to get as far as 300 meters from her father’s home,” he added, according to Press TV.

The lawyer, however, said his client was to attend another court hearing in a separate case involving propaganda against the Islamic Republic, adding that the hearing is scheduled later this month. It is not yet clear if Zaghari can leave the country.

Zaghari was pardoned by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei last year, but spent the final year of her term under house arrest in Tehran with electronic monitor tied to her feet.

She was sentenced to imprisonment on charges of espionage for the UK. Iran’s intelligence authorities arrested Zaghari, who also holds a British passport, at Imam Khomeini International Airport in April 2016 as she was about to board a plane to London.

An Iranian Judiciary official said in June 2016 that Zaghari was arrested over her involvement in post-election riots that engulfed Tehran and some other cities in 2009.

Yadollah Movahed, the head of the Justice Department in the Iranian city of Kerman, said Zaghari was among the suspects who "conducted activities against the security of the country by designing websites and carrying out campaigns in the media” during the post-election "sedition".

In August 2018, Iran temporarily freed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with Iran's UK Ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad announcing on his Twitter page that Zaghari had been released from prison to see her family.

In October 2020, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed a plan by the British government to make payment of Iran’s outstanding debt conditional on the release of Zaghari, saying that it would be tantamount to stealing the Iranian nation’s money.

He made the remarks in an interview with a Persian-language newspaper in Tehran, when asked about UK’s claim that Iran is taking Zaghari as hostage in order to force London to pay the debt it owes Tehran arising from the non-delivery of Chieftain tanks ordered by Iran's former regime.




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