Husband of Iranian-British detainee Zaghari-Ratcliffe goes on hunger strike
The husband of British charity Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, detained for more than five years in Iran, has gone on a hunger strike again after a court ruled that she must spend another year in prison.
Richard Ratcliffe begins his fast outside the British Government’s Foreign Office in central London.
He plans to maintain “constant vigil” by sleeping in a tent outside the main entrance to the building in order to pressure Prime Minister Boris Johnson to secure the release of his wife and other British and Iranian nationals detained, Amnesty International said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe served five years in prison after being arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 and convicted of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government, a charge she, her supporters and rights groups deny.
In May, she was sentenced to an additional year in prison for spreading “propaganda against the system” for participating in a protest outside the Iranian embassy in London in 2009 – a decision upheld this month by a court call. The verdict includes a one-year travel ban, meaning she could not leave Iran until 2023.
Ratcliffe went on a 15-day hunger strike two years ago outside the Iranian embassy, ââa move he attributes to the release of their 7-year-old daughter, Gabriella.
âWe are now giving the UK government the same treatment. In truth, I didn’t expect to have to go on a hunger strike twice. It’s not a normal act, âRatcliffe said on his change.org petition.
He says Iran remains the âmain aggressorâ in Nazanin’s case, but âthe UK is failing us as well. It is increasingly clear that the Nazanin case could have been resolved several months ago – but for other diplomatic agendas. The Prime Minister must take responsibility for it. “