UK-Iranian begins fresh hunger strike in Tehran jail
London, Jun 15 : A British-Iranian mother being held in a Tehran prison on sedition charges has begun another hunger strike in protest at her detention, her husband said Saturday.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, is refusing food as she marks her daughter’s fifth birthday, Richard Ratcliffe said in a statement.
His wife was arrested in April 2016 as she was leaving Iran after taking their infant daughter to visit her family. She was sentenced to five years for allegedly trying to topple the Iranian government.
“She had informed the judiciary that she has begun a new hunger strike (she will drink water) — to protest at her continuing unfair imprisonment,” he said.
“This is something she had been threatening for a while. Nazanin had vowed that if we passed Gabriella’s fifth birthday with her still inside, then she would do something — to mark to both governments — that enough is enough. This really has gone on too long.” A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the media group’s philanthropic arm, she denies all charges.
She previously went on hunger strike in January.
“Her demand from the strike, she said, is for unconditional release. She has long been eligible for it,” said Ratcliffe.
“I do not know the response from the Iranian authorities.” 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.
Last month, London changed its travel advice for British-Iranian dual nationals, warning them against all travel to Iran, citing Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case.