Prison leave extended for jailed charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Her period outside of Evin jail was extended to May 20 in line with President Rouhani’s prisoner coronavirus policy

British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is seen at her parent's home, in Tehran, Iran March 17, 2020.  Free Nazanin Campaign/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

The temporary release of jailed charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been extended to May 20 but has been told to wait for her bid for clemency.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual-national, was released from Evin jail in Tehran on March 17 while authorities grappled with the coronavirus pandemic.

She was initially due to return to jail in little more than two weeks but her time outside of the jail has been twice extended.

She will continue to wear an electronic tag and will not be allowed to venture more than a few hundred yards from her Iranian parents’ home, her campaign confirmed in a tweet.

Her lawyer was told by the prosecutor’s office that “no decision has yet been made on her clemency…. Nonetheless, Nazanin is very relieved today.”

The extension of leave period is in line with an announcement by President Hassan Rouhani during a televised meeting on Sunday of the government’s coronavirus taskforce.

Some 100,000 prisoners have so far been given temporary freedom from Iran’s crowded jails. Another 10,000 have been promised clemency.

She is one of 125 identified security prisoners who is eligible for release under the terms of the programme ordered by supreme leader Ali Khamenei last month, according to Iran Prison Atlas, a database of prisoners compiled by a US-based group.

The charity worker was first detained in April 2016 as she prepared to return to Britain after visiting her parents with her young daughter.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed for five years and accused by state media of seeking to undermine the regime through her work with charitable arms of media organisations.

Her supporters say she is a political pawn in a diplomatic battle between Tehran and London.

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