German national Nahid Taghavi freed from Iranian prison with ankle tag

Daughter hopes partial release 'comparable to house arrest' is first step towards freedom

Nahid Taghavi was convicted under Iran's harsh laws of 'illegal propaganda activities' and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2021. Photo: Mariam Claren
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A German citizen arrested in Iran more than three years ago has been granted a partial release, her daughter revealed on Tuesday.

Nahid Taghavi, who also has Iranian citizenship, has been freed from Evin prison but must wear an ankle tag and stay within a kilometre of her apartment in Tehran.

Her daughter, Mariam Claren, said the conditions made Ms Taghavi’s release “more comparable to house arrest”.

“However, we hope this furlough is an important first step for her unconditional release,” Ms Claren said.

German politicians welcomed the news after lobbying for Ms Taghavi's release since her arrest in Tehran in October 2020.

"After 1,181 days in prison as a political prisoner, Nahid Taghavi can finally recover on prison furlough," said former minister Hermann Groehe.

Ms Taghavi, who was detained together with British-Iranian citizen Mehran Raoof, was accused of illegal propaganda activities and helping to lead a banned group, which she denied.

In 2021 she was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison on what her supporters said were spurious charges.

Ms Claren said her mother was interrogated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for more than 1,000 hours without being allowed a lawyer.

"My mother’s trials were a farce," Ms Claren wrote for The National last year as she described conditions in solitary confinement "designed to break the prisoner".

"My mother slept on a stone floor in a small cell, alone, without a bed, mattress or pillow for 194 days. She wore a blindfold for months, was monitored by cameras and had little access to fresh air," she said.

"The food rations were deliberately kept small; she lost 14 kilograms during this time. Her health deteriorated rapidly, but they failed to break her spirit."

Iran has a history of taking dual nationals prisoner and has widely been accused of using them as political bargaining chips.

It does not recognise their dual citizenship, meaning the detainees have limited consular support. However, some have previously been freed on furlough as a prelude to their full release.

In one of the most high-profile cases, British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was allowed out on furlough on several occasions before she was allowed to leave Iran in 2022.

Updated: January 10, 2024, 7:24 AM