'We're both in prison': Richard Ratcliffe didn't want Nazanin to go on hunger strike
Richard Ratcliffe, husband of jailed British-Iranian dual citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, told Good Morning Britain he didn’t want his wife to go on a hunger strike in order to get medical attention.
He admitted he tried to talk her out of the idea multiple times and attempted to postpone the strike, but she became increasingly upset over the lack of medical attention she required.
Mr Ratcliffe recalled conversations with his wife, in which she pointed out his campaigning for her innocence back in the UK wasn’t working as well as they had hoped.
She allegedly told him: “Enough is enough. You need to understand, I’m desperate.”
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe eventually wrote to the Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Tehran without consulting her husband.
In a joint letter with fellow prisoner human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, she wrote: “In protest against this illegal, inhuman and unlawful behaviour, we will go on hunger strike from 14th to 16th January and ask for immediate care.”
In December 2018, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe went to the prison doctor to check for lumps in her breasts, as well as numbness in her arms and legs.
The doctor recommended she see a specialist, to which authorities refused.
In response to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s letter, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt slammed the Iranian authorities on Twitter:
It would have been the third Christmas the Zaghari-Ratcliffe family has spent apart.
The charity worker was thrown in an Iranian jail in 2016 after being accused of alleged spying and trying to overthrow the government. She has maintained her innocence.
Her and Mr Ratcliffe’s daughter Gabriella is under the care of her grandparents in Iran. Gabriella’s British passport has been held by the Iranian authorities and she is unable to return to the UK.
“Her [birthday] wish was for mummy and daddy to get released from prison. Because for her, we're both in prison,” Mr Ratcliffe said.
However, he says the support of the country has given him hope to continue the fight for her freedom.
He said: “It’s worth it to keep on going, keep on battling.”