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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to speak to Emma Barnett for Woman’s Hour special

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with Emma Barnett (BBC)
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with Emma Barnett (BBC)

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will speak to Woman’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett for a special edition of the Radio 4 programme.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 44, is a British-Iranian dual citizen who was detained in Iran under charges of espionage from 2016 until her release in March 2022.

In the interview, which will also be broadcast on BBC One, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe will reveal the full story of her imprisonment in Iran, including explaining how she survived solitary confinement and how the love of her daughter kept her going.

She will also discuss what Prime Minister Boris Johnson told her about the real reason for her imprisonment.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity project manager, was arrested in April 2016 after visiting her parents in Iran with her then-21-month-old daughter Gabriella while on her way back to Britain.

She was detained for six years in total – having been initially sentenced to five years for plotting to overthrow the Iranian government, in 2021 she was then sentenced to a further year for propaganda against Iran.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has consistently refuted the allegations brought against her and continued to stress that she was in Iran only for a holiday to visit her family.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, campaigned tirelessly for her release, including twice going on hunger strike.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe meets PM
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was reunited with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella in March 2022 (Victoria Jones/PA)

On March 17 this year Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released and allowed to return to Britain to reunite with her husband and daughter.

Her release, along with fellow British-Iranian national Anoosheh Ashoori, came after negotiations and diplomatic efforts that had intensified in the preceding months.

The UK Government also paid a £400 million debt to Iran dating back to the 1970s, despite both governments saying the two issues should not be linked.

The special Women’s Hour programme will air on BBC One on May 23 at 8pm, and on Radio 4 on May 24 at 10am.