British-Iranian woman ends hunger strike after 15 days in Tehran prison

London [UK]: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman jailed in Tehran for alleged sedition charges, has ended her hunger strike after 15 days.

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Her husband Richard, who was on hunger strike with her, reportedly said that that he had spoken to his wife on Saturday and she was ending the action.

“She’s decided to stop her hunger strike,” he said.

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“She said that in fact, she’d had some breakfast this morning,” added Ratcliffe.

“I’m relieved because I wouldn’t have wanted her to push it much longer,” he said.

Ratcliffe, who has been leading a campaign to try to win his wife’s release from prison, also ended his own hunger strike in solidarity with Zaghari-Ratcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy in London.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 41-year-old charity worker with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, began the hunger strike more than two weeks ago, on her daughter Gabriella’s fifth birthday, Al Jazeera reported.

She was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016 as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit. She was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment.

Her family and the Foundation, however, denied the charges.

Richard Ratcliffe urged the British authorities to make her case a priority.

“It is not my job to play politics between who should be prime minister or not … but to make sure that Nazanin’s case is top priority,” her husband was quoted as saying.

Boris Johnson, a former UK foreign secretary who is seen as the favourite to become the Britain’s prime minister when the ruling Conservative Party elects its new leader next month, attracted criticism in 2017 for appearing to jeopardise Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case when he suggested at a parliamentary hearing that she had been training journalists in Iran prior to her arrest.

Johnson had later apologised for his comments.


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