Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: TV presenters visit husband on hunger strike

Richard Ratcliffe is on hunger strike. Credit: PA

Claudia Winkleman and Victoria Coren Mitchell have visited the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as he continues his hunger strike.

Richard Ratcliffe is on day nine of a hunger strike outside the Foreign Office in London which he started after his wife lost her latest appeal in Iran.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national, has been in custody in the country since 2016 after being accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

She was taking her daughter Gabriella to see her family when she was arrested and was sentenced to five years in prison shortly afterwards, spending four years in Evin Prison and one under house arrest.

The television presenters posted a picture on Twitter showing Mr Ratcliffe sitting between them and holding a picture of his wife.

Coren Mitchell, a professional poker player and Only Connect host, tweeted: “We went to see Richard Ratcliffe on day 9 of his hunger strike.

“The ongoing torment of this innocent family is a failure of British democracy in its core aim: to protect its citizens.

“Nazanin must come home. How on earth will we reverse climate change if we can’t even fix this?”

She added: “If you are in London and want Richard, Nazanin and Gabriella to know you care, you will find him on the steps of the Foreign Office.”

Speaking after the visit, Mr Ratcliffe told the PA news agency: “It was lovely of them. They both made patches for our giant patchwork quilt, and were very caring.

“Today is day nine, so getting a bit colder, and a bit slower – but more comfortable than yesterday’s rain.”

Asked how he was holding up, he said: “Mentally and physically a bit slower, and I get tired more, so lots of sitting down. But still continuing for now.”

According to her family, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was told by Iranian authorities that she was being detained because of the UK’s failure to pay an outstanding £400 million debt to Iran.