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Nazanin begins another hunger strike in prison

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has begun another hunger strike to protest at her continuing imprisonment in Iran.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation project manager, held since April 2016, has informed the Judiciary in Tehran, she told her husband Richard by telephone on Saturday, that she will drink water.

“This is something she had been threatening for a while,” he said. She had vowed that if their daughter Gabriella’s fifth birthday passed with her still inside, then she would do something to mark to both the Iranian and British governments that enough is enough.

“This really has gone on too long,” he said.

“Today she sounded nervous, but calm. Her demand from the strike, she said, is for unconditional release. She has long been eligible for it.

“I do not know the response from the Iranian authorities.”

Ratcliffe said in London that, given his wife’s decision, later today he would also begin a continual vigil in front of the Iranian Embassy in London, perhaps occasionally joined by friends and family.

“During this vigil I will also not eat, and will continue this fast until such time as her hunger strike ends.

“I vowed last time that if she ever went on hunger strike again, we would not leave her to go through this ordeal alone.”

His requests to the Iranian authorities are for Nazanin’s immediate release, an immediate visit to her by the British Embassy to check on her health - “after 3 years it is an outrage this continues to be blocked by Iran”, and if no release is granted to her in the next few weeks, a visa for him to go to Iran. ■