British-Iranian woman begins fresh hunger strike in Tehran prison

16 Juin, 2019, 16:14 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Richard Ratcliffe

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe previously undertook a three-day hunger strike in protest at being denied specialist medical care. "This really has gone on too long", he said.

Amnesty's campaign for Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release has been supported by nearly 200,000 people, and a number of Amnesty supporters are expected to visit Richard Ratcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy in central London in the coming days to offer their moral support as he embarks on a solidarity protest on behalf of his wife.

Richard Ratcliffe said he had received a phone call from his wife to tell him she had informed the Iranian judiciary she had stopped taking food in protest at her "unfair imprisonment".

Mr Ratcliffe has announced that he will maintain a 24-hour vigil outside the embassy in Knightsbridge, camping out overnight.

Today she sounded nervous, but calm.

The hunger strikes come at a time of heightened tensions between Iran, the United States and the UK over alleged attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

A British-Iranian mother detained in Iran has begun a new hunger strike.

"I'll be visiting Richard outside the Iranian Embassy to offer my support, and I know some of his many supporters will be doing the same". She was sentenced to five years for allegedly trying to topple the Iranian government.

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"The message from Nazanin of course is that enough is enough and I think she wanted to make it clear to the authorities in prison that this can't go on". British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt granted Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in March, but Iranian officials refuse to recognize her dual nationality.

"Her demand from the strike, she said, is for unconditional release". Gabriella, who was born in the United Kingdom, has not been allowed to leave Iran and is living with her grandparents.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband said he would stage a hunger strike outside the Iranian Embassy in London from Saturday.

He urged the Iranian authorities to release her immediately, for the British embassy to be allowed to check on her health, and, if she is not released within the coming weeks, for him to be granted a visa to visit her.

'I vowed last time that if she ever went on hunger strike again, we would not leave her to go through this ordeal alone'.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested and jailed in 2016 at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran as she tried to board a plane back to the United Kingdom with her daughter.

Friends and family gathered outside the Iranian embassy in London on Saturday, singing Happy Birthday via a video call to Gabriella, who celebrated her birthday on 11 June, and sharing a unicorn-shaped birthday cake.

Amnesty International UK's director Kate Allen said her plight was "truly heart-breaking".

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