Freed British-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe seeks release of ‘unjustly detained’ in Iran


A British-Iranian charity worker held in Tehran for six years called on Monday for all “unjustly detained” prisoners in Iran to be freed, speaking publicly for the first time since her release.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe thanked everyone involved in the campaign to secure her release but added: “What’s happened now should have happened six years ago… I shouldn’t have been in prison for six years.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe and questioned why Britain had failed to get her home before her return last week.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe arrived in Britain from Iran in the early hours of Thursday following six years when she was detained in Tehran and convicted by an Iranian court of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment.

She returned to Britain after London resolved what it called a parallel issue — repaying a historic 400 million-pound ($526 million) debt for the purchase of military tanks to Tehran that dated back to 1979.

While Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard thanked the British government for getting his wife home, she said she could not agree.

“What’s happened now should have happened six years ago,” she told a news conference in the House of Commons in Westminster. “It should have happened exactly six years ago, I shouldn’t have been in prison for six years.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested by Revolutionary Guards at Tehran airport on April 3, 2016, while trying to return to Britain with her then 22-month-old daughter Gabriella from an Iranian new year’s trip to see her parents.

Her family and her employer, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, denied the charge against her. The Thomson Reuters Foundation is a charity that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters.

Al Arabiya

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