Iranian Dual National Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Begins Hunger Strike
British-Iranian dual citizen, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, was detained by Iranian authorities in April 2016 during a trip to Iran to visit her family. Similar to the cases of several other dual nationals detained in Iran, Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been accused of spying and charged with conspiracy to topple the Iranian government. Traveling with her one-year-old daughter at the time, Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been separated from her child, who has been in the care of Nazanin’s family in Iran since her arrest, and sentenced to five years in prison.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe maintains her innocence, and many suspect the detention was motivated by politics and her work at BBC and Reuters. The U.K. government escalated the matter with Iran in March 2019 by granting Zaraghi-Ratcliffe formal diplomatic protection.
On June 11, 2019, Nazanin marked her daughter Gabriella’s fifth birthday by beginning a new hunger strike and demanding her “unconditional release.” Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, joined his wife’s hunger strike from Britain to show solidarity and to draw public attention to Nazanin’s imprisonment. Amnesty International UK is also aiding this effort with an online petition, which can be found here.