BRIT mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she is “so happy” after being temporarily released from her prison “hell” in Iran amid a coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Nazanin – who has been caged in Tehran since 2016 on trumped-up spying charges – will wear an ankle tag while she stays at her parents’ home during her two-week furlough.
She was one of 85,000 prisoners released by Iran this week in a desperate bid to stop coronavirus spreading through the country’s overcrowded and disease-ridden jails.
Speaking after her release, the Brit mum said: “I am so happy to be out. Even with the ankle tag, I am so happy.
“Being out is so much better than being in – if you knew what hell this place is. It is mental.
“Let us hope it will be the beginning of coming home.”
Nazanin has to stay within 300m of her parents’ home in Iran for the duration of her furlough before she is returned to prison on April 4.
Being out is so much better than being in – if you knew what hell this place is. It is mental.”
Her family and supporters had raised serious concerns for her health, with husband Richard saying earlier this month she was showing “all the symptoms” of Covid-19.
He had repeatedly called for her to be released temporarily after the deadly virus ripped through the notorious Evin prison where she is being held.
But authorities had so far refused, until today.
Mr Ratcliffe said he had “mixed feelings” about his wife’s temporary release.
He said: “This furlough is a positive step, but it is not a victory – a two week release with a permanent ankle tag and a 300m range is obviously not meant to be a solution.”
The dad added: “It is one feeling to walk out of prison. It is completely different to walk back in.
“No one should be asked to go and be a hostage again.”
Nazanin echoed these feelings, saying she was “so, so nervous” about what to tell her daughter Gabriella.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “I am relieved that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was today temporarily released into the care of her family in Iran.
“We urge the regime to ensure she receives any necessary medical care.
“While this is a welcome step, we urge the government now to release all UK dual nationals arbitrarily detained in Iran, and enable them to return to their families in the UK.”