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Tom Watson offers Labour support to husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

He said the family had become ‘trapped in a terrifying geo-political game’.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and Richard Radcliffe (left), the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, and supporters outside the Iranian Embassy in London, where Richard is on a hunger strike (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and Richard Radcliffe (left), the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, and supporters outside the Iranian Embassy in London, where Richard is on a hunger strike (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Labour politicians have rallied around the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe as the couple continue a hunger strike over her continued imprisonment in Iran.

Richard Ratcliffe is fasting and keeping vigil outside the Iranian embassy in Knightsbridge, London, in solidarity with the British-Iranian mother.

The 40-year-old is serving a five-year sentence in the notorious Evin Prison after being arrested in 2016 in Tehran on her way back from visiting relatives.

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Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella. (Family Handout/PA)

In January, she refused food for three days in protest at the decision of the prison authorities to deny her access to medical treatment.

Last weekend Mr Ratcliffe said he had received a phone call from his wife to tell him she had informed the Iranian judiciary she had again stopped taking food in protest at her “unfair imprisonment”.

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson, MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting and Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad were among those who visited on Thursday.

Mr Watson wrote on Twitter: “Today I met Richard Ratcliffe, husband of @freeNazanin, during his hunger strike at the Iranian Embassy.

“His family is trapped in a terrifying geo-political game.

“I urge the Iranian govt, to assist the de-escalation of military tension, and release Nazanin as an act of humanity.”

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Richard Ratcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy in London where he is continuing his hunger strike in solidarity with his imprisoned wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Mr Ratcliffe is on the sixth day of his own hunger strike, which he has not put a time limit on.

Since he set up camp outside the embassy large silver barricades have been placed by him.

Wes Streeting tweeted: “This afternoon I joined @tom_watson and Labour colleagues at the Iranian Embassy to show solidarity with Richard Ratcliffe in his hunger strike to #freenazanin.

“It’s past time that this family was reunited. Our current and next prime minister must make this a priority.”

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested on April 3 2016 at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran as she prepared to board a plane with her daughter Gabriella back to the UK after visiting relatives.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt granted Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in March but Tehran refuses to acknowledge her dual nationality.

PA

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