December 1, 2021

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Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband has started a hunger strike in front of the British Foreign Office

Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband has started a hunger strike in front of the British Foreign Office

As reported by human rights group Amnesty International, Richard Ratcliffe plans to “stay alert” by sleeping in a tent outside the building’s main entrance to put pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson. All this to make him work for the release of his wife and other dual nationals detained in Iran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who holds dual Iranian and British citizenship, was arrested in Iran in 2016 and then sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government and espionage.

In May of this year, she was sentenced to an additional year in prison for spreading “propaganda against the regime”, which, according to the authorities in Tehran, was her participation in a protest outside the Iranian embassy in London in 2009. In October, the Iranian Court of Appeal upheld the decision. The ruling includes a one-year travel ban, which means she will not be able to leave Iran before 2023.

Ratcliffe was already on a 15-day hunger strike in front of the Iranian embassy in London two years ago. He said he did not expect to have to make such a protest again. He explained that while Iran was the primary responsibility, the British government had to do more for his wife as well.

Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, so prisoners like Zaghari-Ratcliffe cannot receive consular assistance.