Richard Ratcliffe, husband of an Anglo-Iranian woman stranded in Iran, ends hunger strike

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Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of an Anglo-Iranian woman detained in Iran for five years, stopped the hunger strike on Saturday after 21 days.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Iran in 2016 while visiting his family and has not been able to return to the UK since.

“Today I promised Nazanin to end the hunger strike. Gabriella needs two parents. Thank you all for the overwhelming care these past three weeks,” she said on the Free Nazanin Twitter account.

Ratcliffe began his hunger strike in October, asking the British government to repay a debt of 400 million pounds (468.7 million euros), which Iran demanded in exchange for Nazanin and which they call her “hostage” .

Ratcliffe said the UK must be tough on Iran to prevent the taking hostage of innocent people.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was paroled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now faces another year in prison, with a ban on leaving the country for another year to follow.

This was the second hunger strike Ratcliffe went on for his wife’s imprisonment in Iran.

In a social media post he wrote at the beginning of his hunger strike, he said: “Of course Iran still remains the main abuser in the Nazanin case. But our family is involved in a dispute between two states.”

“The UK is also disappointing us. It is increasingly clear that Nazanin’s case could have been solved many months ago, but for other diplomatic agendas. The prime minister must take responsibility.”

Their daughter Gabriella managed to return from Iran to the UK in 2019 to go to school.

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