This afternoon (13 November), Ratcliffe took to Twitter to announce his hunger strike was coming to an end, he tweeted “Day 21 #FreeNazanin,” along with a photo of himself holding up a sign that reads: “Love is a verb, not a noun. It is a Doing word.
“Thank you, to you all, for what you have DONE for our family. #FREENAZANIN.”
“We probably hoped we’d get a breakthrough doing this. We haven’t yet. I didn’t want to go out in an ambulance. I want to walk out with my head held high,” Ratcliffe told the PA news agency.
In a follow-up tweet, Ratcliffe added: “The last act of the hunger strike will be our patchwork event in front of the Foreign Office at 13.30 then I will be going to the hospital for a full check-up. Thank you for keeping our family in the light.”
The last act of the hunger strike will be our patchwork event in front of the Foreign Office at 13.30
Then I will b… https://t.co/XVnVHpaQiy
In 2016, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was imprisoned for five years in Iran, accused of plotting to overthrow the government when she travelled to the country to visit her family with her daughter Gabriella.
After spending four years in prison and one year under house arrest, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was then sentenced to another year after her release earlier this year for “spreading propaganda against the regime.”
Since then she has remained on parole at her parent’s home in Tehran, but the fear is that Nazanin could be sent back to prison as a result of this latest sentencing.
During the hunger strike, Ratcliffe has urged the government to pay a £400m debt owed to Iran that dates back to the 1970s for tanks were never delivered to them, and Iranian authorities have implied Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be released if this debt is paid to them.
Iranian delegates arrived in Glasgow at the COP26 climate summit and Ratcliffe had hoped his hunger strike would push Prime Minister Boris Johnson to meet with them to discuss Zaghari-Ratcliffe's situation.
When Ratcliffe announced he was ending the strike, support began to flood in from Twitter commending the 46-year-old’s efforts.
Labour leader, Keir Starmer responded to the news by urging Boris Johnson to take action to bring Nazanin home.
Richard, our hearts go out to you and your family.
Boris Johnson must act now to bring Nazanin home.
This week, Ratcliffe met with the Middle East minister, James Cleverly to discuss his wife’s situation, following talks between British Government officials and Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani.
However, Ratcliffe revealed the meeting was “depressing” and left him feeling “deflated,” Evening Standard reported.
“We’re still stuck in the same problems that led us to end up on hunger strike,” he explained.