British-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe ends hunger strike in Iran prison, husband says

British-Iranian Zaghari-Ratcliffe ends hunger strike in Iran prison, husband says
2 min read
29 June, 2019
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested three years ago and accused of trying to overthrow Iran's government.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband had been on hunger strike for around two weeks [Getty]

Imprisoned British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has ended a hunger strike to push for her release, her husband told the BBC on Saturday.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, arrested three years ago on a family visit to Iran, began her hunger strike two weeks ago. Her husband Richard Ratcliffe also participated in the hunger strike in the UK.

A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in jail after being accused of plotting to overthrow Iran's government.

Both her charity and the foundation refute the charge.

Ratcliffe told BBC radio he had spoken with his wife on Saturday and she had decided to stop the hunger strike.

"She said that in fact she'd had some breakfast this morning," he added.

Ratcliffe said that the protest had helped raise awareness around his wife's case.

"In Iran, we've become a much bigger story than we were before and there's an awareness that really this needs to be solved," he explained, according to Reuters.

Read more: UK 'withholds £400m debt payment to Iran' linked to Zaghari-Ratcliffe release

Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband has taken aim at prime ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson during the Conservative Party leadership race.

While serving as Foreign Secretary, he made a blunder which Ratcliffe said continues to affect his wife, claiming that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalists in Iran.

"Even the interrogators yesterday were again saying that, 'Listen, your foreign secretary then confirmed you were there working, you were doing something.' They know it's not true, I know it's not true, Nazanin knows it's not true but it's still used," said Ratcliffe.

"She was on holiday and he took a very long time to apologise, there was all sorts of contortions about it.

"There is still an effort by the former foreign secretary and his allies to pretend there were not consequences, when there really were," he said.