May 20, 2020 / 4:47 PM / in 11 days

Iran extends Zaghari-Ratcliffe's temporary release, lawyer says

FILE PHOTO: Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of jailed British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, sits with his daughter Gabriella during a news conference in London, Britain October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Iranian judiciary has extended British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s temporary release from jail by one week, her lawyer told state news agency IRNA on Wednesday.

In mid-March, Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, was temporarily released from Tehran’s Evin prison for two weeks along with thousands of other prisoners.

The furlough has been extended until May 27 and judiciary officials have told Zaghari-Ratcliffe that they will decide during this period whether the rest of her sentence will be commuted, her lawyer, Mahmoud Behzadirad, told IRNA.

A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit.

She was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment.

Her family and the foundation, a charity that operates independently of media firm Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters, deny the charge.

Iran has temporarily released tens of thousands of people from jail, including political prisoners, in recent months in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Giles Elgood

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