Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran goes on hunger strike | News | DW | 15.06.2019
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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran goes on hunger strike

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is being held in a Tehran prison, is refusing food as she marks her daughter's fifth birthday. She was arrested in 2016 after she took her daughter to visit family.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe told Iranian officials that she would refuse food until she is granted an "unconditional release," her husband said on Saturday.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport in 2016 as she was leaving the country after taking her infant daughter to visit family. She was sentenced to five years in jail for espionage and sedition for allegedly trying to "soft topple" the Iranian government.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said he would hold a vigil outside the Iranian embassy in London and would also fast in support of his wife. She previously went on hunger strike in January. 

Zaghari-Ratcliffe told her husband that if her daughter turned 5 while she was still in jail, she would do something to "mark to both governments that enough is enough. This really has gone on too long."

Read moreNazanin Ratcliffe: a political prisoner?

Richard Ratcliffe said he had asked Iranian authorities to release her immediately and for the British embassy in Iran to be allowed to check on her health. 

Richard Radcliffe

Richard Radcliffe says he will fast along with his wife

Diplomatic efforts, and gaffes 

In March, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt granted Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection, but Iranian officials have refused to recognize her dual nationality. 

In May, Britain cited Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case in advising all British-Iranian dual nationals against traveling to Iran. 

In 2018, she was granted bail and allowed to leave Evin prison in Tehran for three days, under the condition that she not speak to the media. 

In 2017, Boris Johnson was forced to apologize after he incorrectly said that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been in Iran training journalists at the time she was arrested. Zaghari-Ratcliffe works for the Thompson Reuters Foundation, the charity arm of the media company, as a project manager. She has never worked as a journalist.

Critics say the gaffe could have made her situation even worse. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, her family and her employer have continually denied the charges against her. 

Watch video 07:00

Fighting Iran's strict hijab rules

wmr/amp (AP, AFP)

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