Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband demands action from UK as he enters 16th day of hunger strike

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband demands action from UK as he enters 16th day of hunger strike
Richard Ratcliffe continues to camp outside the UK's Foreign Office building in cold conditions without food in protest of London’s complacency' in dealing with his wife’s case.
2 min read
08 November, 2021
Richard Ratcliffe continues his hunger strike [Getty]

Husband of detained British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has entered 16th day of his hunger strike on Monday, as he continues to sleep in a tent outside the UK's Foreign Office building in protest of London's "complacency" in dealing with his wife's case.

Ratcliffe, who has camped in cold conditions without food, remains defiant, adding that the drastic measure he has taken were in direct response to the London's disinclined approach in pressuring Iran to release his wife.

"They (the government) clearly were working quite hard in the summer to broker a deal and that deal clearly fell apart. Nazanin's new sentence, which came three weeks ago, is a sign of that," he told Sky News on Monday.

"The Iranians are threatening it, but they will throw her back in prison quite soon."

"So the first ask was that they [the UK] do something to stop that and that there are consequences for Iran for playing these games, which the government wasn't keen to do," he added.

Ratcliffe criticised the way in which the UK government dealt with his wife's detention.

"I don't think the government's approach to dealing with Iran's hostage-taking is effective. Five-and-a-half years shows that."

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A project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the media organisation's philanthropic wing, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 in Tehran during a visit to her family and convicted of plotting to overthrow the Iranian regime -- accusations she strenuously denied - and sentenced to five years in prison.

After serving her time, she was sentenced again at the end of April to another year's imprisonment for participating in a rally outside the Iranian embassy in London in 2009.

In mid-October, she lost her appeal, with her family fearing she will soon return to prison, which she had been allowed to leave with an electronic bracelet in March 2020 amid Covid-19 concerns.

Ratcliffe has said he believed his wife "is caught in a dispute between two states" over an old debt of 400 million pounds ($540 million) that London refuses to settle since the shah of Iran was ousted in 1979.

He began his new hunger strike, his second since 2018, in the face of "complacency running through the government strategy".