Husband of Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe ends hunger strike as his daughter ‘needs two parents’
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 13/11/2021
Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe’s husband has ended his three-week hunger strike after making a promise to his imprisoned wife.
Richard Ratcliffe has been camped outside the Foreign Office in London for the past 21 days as part of his long-standing campaign for his wife’s release from Iranian prison.
But on Saturday he tweeted: “Day 21 #FreeNazanin Today I have promised Nazanin to end the hunger strike Gabriella needs two parents Thank you all for your overwhelming care these past three weeks.”
He thanked members of the public for their support and “keeping our family in the light”, before adding: “I will be going to the hospital for a full check up.”
During the strike, Mr Ratcliffe, who lives with the couple’s daughter in north London, has been visited by a number of celebrities including Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman and TV presenter Victoria Coren Mitchell.
His wife, a British-Iranian dual national, has been in custody in Iran since 2016 after being accused of being a spy.
She was taking her daughter to visit family when she was arrested at Tehran Airport and sentenced to five years in jail, spending four in Evin Prison and one under house arrest.
According to her family, she was told by local authorities that she was being detained because of the UK’s failure to pay an outstanding £400 million debt to Iran.
Over the past three weeks Mr Ratcliffe had a meeting with foreign office minister James Cleverley after government officials hosted Iranian deputy foreign minister Bagheri Kani.
Mr Ratcliffe told Sky News the meeting had been “depressing” and left him without hope.
“If someone is acting in bad faith and they’re taking someone for leverage the question is: ‘Are you moving forward on those issues and what are you doing to discourage them from keeping on playing games?’,” he said.
“Well we heard nothing on one and we heard nothing on the other. So we stand here with empty stomachs and empty hearts.”
But he later said his wife would have been “less deflated” by the underwhelming meeting than he was.
His mother Barbara had urged the government to do more to free her daughter-in-law.
“How far are they going to let my son get ill and when we’ve got so much support?”, she said.
© Sky News 2020