British-Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns to Tehran jail

British-Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns to Tehran jail
2 min read
26 August, 2018
A British-Iranian woman detained by Iran for sedition charges has been returned to jail after her recent release from a notorious Tehran prison.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe has spent two years separated from her daughter [Getty]

A British-Iranian woman detained in a notorious Tehran jail for the past two years on sedition charges, returned to prison on Sunday, after a temporary release.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe spent time with her family for three days this week, but was returned to jail on Sunday evening, dashing her family's hopes of an extension.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was briefly reunited with her daughter this week.

“She is adorable, and she is also kind and caring. I couldn’t bear her tears. Nothing is worse than her tears. I cannot forget her face," Zaghari-Ratcliffe said when reunited with her daughter.

She was then told on Sunday that she had to return to Evin prison in Tehran, with mother and daughter separated again.

"We have just heard the sad news that Nazanin's extension has been refused and she has returned to prison," a tweet from the "Free Nazanin" Twitter account read.

"Here is the moment she said goodbye to a distraught Gabriella." 

A picture was included of Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugging her four-year-old daughter as the two parted.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said the separation was hugely traumatic for both mother and daughter.

"She was shivering and shaking and crying - and said: 'How can you take me away from my baby, when she needs me'?" he said in a an email received by AFP. 

"Gabriella was crying and sucking her thumb - she didn't want her mummy to go back."

He said they received "mixed messages" from authorities following her surprise release from jail.

The charity workers was told at first her request for an extension had been approved, but when she returned home received a call from the prosecutor telling her to return to prison by sunset.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation - the media organisation's philanthropic arm - was arrested at Tehran airport on 3 April 2016.

She is serving a five-year jail sentence for alleged sedition.

Agencies contributed to this story.