TV presenters visit hunger strike husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Claudia Winkleman and Victoria Coren Mitchell visited Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband as he continues his hunger strike.
Richard Ratcliffe is on the ninth day of a hunger strike outside the Foreign Office in London that he started after his wife lost her last appeal in Iran.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual Anglo-Iranian citizen, has been in detention in the country since 2016 after being charged with conspiring 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 after, spending four years in Evin prison and one under house arrest.
TV presenters posted a photo on Twitter showing Mr Ratcliffe sitting between them and holding a photo of his wife.
Coren Mitchell, professional poker player and host of Only Connect, tweeted: “We went to see Richard Ratcliffe on day 9 of his hunger strike.
“The continued torment of this innocent family is a failure of British democracy in its primary purpose: to protect its citizens.
“Nazanin has to go home. How on earth are we going to reverse climate change if we can’t even fix it? “
She added: “If you are in London and want Richard, Nazanin and Gabriella to know that 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 quilt and were very caring.
“Today is the ninth day, so it’s a little colder and a little slower – but more comfortable than the rain yesterday.”
When asked how he was handling, he replied, “Mentally and physically a little slower, and I tire more, so I sit a lot. But it continues for the moment. “
According to her family, Iranian authorities have told Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe that she is being detained due to the UK’s non-payment of a £ 400million debt to Iran.
Rupert Skilbeck, Director of Redress, said: “Following an inconclusive meeting with the Foreign Minister last week, Richard is now on his ninth day of the hunger strike.
“He is in a weakened state but firm in his determination to stress the need for the UK to take a more robust approach in his wife’s case.
“After years of setbacks for Nazanin, what will it take for the UK to take a stand against Iran to protect British citizens?
“It is a blinding paradox that representatives of the regime holding Nazanin hostage are allowed to go to the Glasgow Climate Change Conference when Nazanin, a British citizen, cannot return home to her family. “