London, 13 May – Iranian authorities have told the family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been held in solitary confinement for five weeks, they may be allowed to meet her in jail.
The British mother held prisoner in Iran has been allowed to see her parents and her infant daughter for the first time since her arrest.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37, was allowed out of solitary confinement for over two hours on Wednesday.
She was taken from prison to a hotel in the city of Kerman, 600 miles south-east of Tehran, where she was permitted to have lunch with her parents and see her daughter, Gabriella, who is 22 months old, according to Britain’s Telegraph.
On 3 April the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) detained Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37, a charity worker with British-Iranian citizenship and prevented her from leaving the country with her daughter Gabrilella following a two-week holiday visiting relatives in Tehran. Both Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s and her daughter’s British passports were confiscated. She is currently being held in solitary confinement an unknown detention centre in Kerman Province- over 1,000km from her point of arrest.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe told the Independent his wife was being interrogated daily, being denied access to a lawyer and kept away from her one-year old daughter who is in the care of her grandparents. The family says Nazanin has been forced to sign a confession but are unaware of the contents.
Dual-nationality citizens are treated with immense suspicion by the Iranian authorities. Numerous other individuals have received similar treatment such as Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian and British-Iranian businessman Kamal Foroughi.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s work as a project manager at the Thomson Reuters Foundation has no link or relevance to her visit to Iran. The chief executive of the Foundation Monique Villa urged Iranian authorities to release her immediately.
“At the Thomson Reuters Foundation she has no professional dealings with Iran whatsoever. In fact, the Thomson Reuters Foundation has no dealings with Iran and does not operate in the country”, said Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, according to The Guardian.
A petition on change.org addressed to British Prime Minister David Cameron and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to personally intervene has almost 276,000 signatures as of 13 May. A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office told The Independent: “We have been providing support to the family of a British-Iranian national since we were first informed of her arrest, and will continue to do so”.