UK: The release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori hasn’t come a moment too soon

In response to reports that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori have been released from detention in Iran and are about to leave the country, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO, said:

“This is fantastic news, but it hasn’t come a moment too soon.  

“Nazanin and Anoosheh should never have been detained in the first place – they were both jailed on trumped-up national security charges, a familiar tactic in Iran.

“Nazanin and Anoosheh have unquestionably been used as political pawns by the Iranian authorities – and the Iranian authorities have acted with calculated cruelty, seeking to wring the maximum diplomatic value out of their captivity.

“The Government needs to follow up on Nazanin and Anoosheh’s release by immediately renewing its calls for the release of the UK nationals Morad Tahbaz and Mehran Raoof, both of whom are still going through an ordeal all too similar to Nazanin and Anoosheh’s.

“It’s been clear for years that the Iranian authorities are targeting foreign nationals with spurious national security-related charges to exert diplomatic pressure, and it’s more important than ever that Britain works multilaterally to combat this insidious practice.”