British-Iranian mother On Hunger Strike Demanding Unconditional Release
British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe detained in Iran is about to begin her third week of hunger strike.
Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, who is joining her in refusing food, said she began her hunger strike on June 15, 2019, on her daughter’s birthday, to protest against her “unfair imprisonment,” demanding her own unconditional release.
Her illnesses and physical conditions have deteriorated.
Richard began his hunger strike to demand the government takes stronger action for his wife.
The couple sought to increase pressure on the Iranian government for her release after three years’ imprisonment in Iran on charges she denies.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was able to call her husband over the weekend. “She was pretty traumatized,” Ratcliffe pointed out. “She was being pressured by the Revolutionary Guard at that point to end the hunger strike. Their job is to be scary. They certainly are. This is day 12 of our hunger strike. It’s tough for me and I’m sure it’s much tougher for her.”
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe previously undertook a three-day hunger strike in protest at being denied specialist medical care.
The 40-year-old aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 during a holiday in the country, and later convicted on spying charges, which she has always robustly denied.
She is a victim of the Iranian regime’s policy of hostage-taking and is being used as a bargaining chip in Tehran’s deals with the U.K. After three years, she is still in prison.