British-Iranian ends 15-day hunger strike in Tehran jail

Richard Ratcliffe the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe seen in poster outside the Iranian Embassy in London

Richard Ratcliffe the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe seen in poster outside the Iranian Embassy in London

Jailed British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has ended her hunger strike after 15 days, and her husband is due to end his later today.

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

"Nazanin said that she had done two full weeks and that her strike had made a clear point", he wrote. "She took it at face value really".

"I'm relieved because I wouldn't have wanted her to push it much longer", he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

He said he had been struggling without food "but I'm sure it was much harder for her".

"She pointed out to her mother this morning that she hadn't been released yet so perhaps daddy should carry on for a bit", he added.

Mr Ratcliffe, who has been camping outside the Iranian Embassy in London, said he had also now eaten.

His protest outside the Iranian embassy had made work at the diplomatic mission "impossible", reports The Times.

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Among those who visited Mr Ratcliffe outside the embassy during his protest were Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He said the protest had helped raise the profile of his wife's case.

His wife had come under "a lot of pressure" from prison guards to break the strike, he said, and had been feeling nauseous. She liked the tents, she liked the fact that people had brought presents.

The Free Nazanin twitter account said Richard got a phone call from his wife this morning from Evin prison to announce that she had broken her hunger strike.

Human rights group Amnesty International arranged a singing event to mark the end of the two-week hunger strike by the couple.

"Our message to Iran is whatever the disagreements you may have with the United Kingdom, there is an innocent woman at the heart of this", he said.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual citizen, has been detained in Tehran since April 2016 accused of espionage.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at an airport in 2016 as she headed back to the United Kingdom with her daughter, Gabriella, after visiting relatives. "She has been convicted on security charges and is spending her sentence in prison", Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, was quoted as saying by the state media on Monday.

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