A British-Iranian woman held in an Iranian prison for five years on widely refuted spying charges ended her sentence on Sunday, her lawyer said, although she faces a new trial and cannot yet return home.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was able to remove her ankle bracelet for the first time since she was released from prison on furlough last March because of the surging coronavirus pandemic, the lawyer said. She has been under house arrest at her parent’s home in the capital of Tehran since. Iranian state-run media on Sunday that she has been summoned to court again on March 13 over murky new charges, including “spreading propaganda,” which were first announced last fall.
Her long-running case, playing out against the backdrop of a decades-old debt dispute between Britain and Iran, has strained diplomatic ties between the countries and sparked international outrage.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Sunday welcomed the removal of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s ankle tag but called for her to be allowed to return home.
“Iran’s continued treatment of her is intolerable,” he said on Twitter.
“She must be allowed to return to the UK as soon as possible to be reunited with her family.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s government, a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups vigorously deny.