World, Europe

Husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe continues hunger strike

British-Iranian charity worker's husband urges UK government to assist release his wife

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 25.10.2021
Husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe continues hunger strike Photo Credit: https://www.amnesty.org.uk

LONDON

The husband of British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said his wife can go back to prison in Iran soon and urged British officials to step up efforts for her release on Monday.

Richard Ratcliffe, who started his second hunger strike near the British Foreign Office, said the action was to point out that the British government was "not doing enough.”

Ratcliff’s remarks came as she has lost an appeal to a second prison term which Iranian prosecutors accused her of propagating against the Iranian regime. Her first sentence was on spying charges.

“Nazanin has got a new sentence, lost her appeal, so she's still in prison anytime soon,” Ratcliffe said.

He said: “So, part of being here is like an urgent action and just to say, this needs to stop. I don't want her to go back in prison. The government needs to do something. A part of it is also saying your policy on dealing with this case is not working.”

Ratcliffe said there will be an urgent question by an MP in the House of Commons about his wife Monday evening.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliff, an Iran-born British aid worker and a mother of one has been detained in Iran in 2016 and then received a jail term based on spying charges.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was given an additional one-year jail term and is also banned from leaving Iran for a year in April this year.

“The one thing the government could do that would resolve our case is it could settle the debt that it goes through, Ratcliffe added, referring to Iran’s demand of payment of £400 million (over $550 million) left unpaid after a decades-old tank deal between the two countries.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense has categorically rejected a plea from the Foreign Office to hand over this money to Iranian authorities.

Ratcliffe said: “That's why Nazanin wasn’t taken (back) five and a half years ago. And I said to the new foreign secretary, and I said to her predecessor, if you don't pay that money, Nazanin is not coming home.”

“And, you know, they're just playing games with Nazanin, with others. And so the demands, obviously, the British government can't get Nazanin home. It's not in their control entirely that requires the Iranian government, but there are things they can do.

“So we're asking for them to recognize that Nazanin is a hostage, not just as a prisoner to start to punish the perpetrators, those who are responsible Nazanin’s imprisonment through Magnitsky sanctions, or through taking around to court.”

“But also when they do the nuclear negotiations, to include a commitment for all parties to end hostage diplomacy, to end the use of hostages, taking people for leverage,” he added.

27.10.2021

Husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe continues hunger strike

The husband of British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said his wife can go back to prison in Iran soon and urged British officials to step up efforts for her release.

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