Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘to go on hunger strike’ in Iranian jail

British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe prepares for hunger strike as she faces third Christmas in hellhole Iranian jail while husband reveals their daughter, four, doesn’t know who he is

  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe sentenced to five years’ prison on jail charges in 2016
  • The 39-year-old had been arrested at Tehran airport as she returned to Britain
  • Her husband revealed that she is struggling in jail and could go on hunger strike
  • Heartbroken Mr Ratcliffe also said his daughter, who is in Iran, doesn’t know him

The British mother imprisoned in Iran on spying charges is preparing to go on hunger strike as she faces a third Christmas behind bars, her husband has revealed.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 while visiting the country to see her parents with her daughter Gabriella, now four.

The 39-year-old had been arrested at Tehran airport as she returned to Britain where he husband Richard Ratcliffe was home in Hampstead, north London waiting for her.

Mr Ratcliffe has told how his increasingly desperate wife is struggling at the idea of missing yet another Christmas Day with her family. 


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (left, with daughter Gabriella) was arrested at Tehran airport as she returned to Britain where he husband Richard Ratcliffe (right) was home waiting for her

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe (pictured in June 2016) was sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 while visiting the country to see her parents with her daughter Gabriella, now four

He told the Daily Mirror: ‘She is very low and despairing, almost wanting to stop hoping because the hope is too much.

‘For her the key point is turning 40 on Boxing Day, if we cross that point and she’s still in prison there will be a fundamental hurt and decision to do something.’

He revealed that he still buys her presents every year, including a handbag and a furry hat, and has them wrapped up waiting for her to return home. 


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The heartbroken father also told how his daughter doesn’t know who he is, as she lives with Nazanin’s parents in Tehran and only speaks to him through FaceTime.

He added: ‘Gabriella asked her mum about six months ago “Do you know Daddy? Have you ever met Daddy?”

‘Of course for her I’m just a face on the phone. Nazanin was mortified, horrified.’ 


The heartbroken father (left) also told how his daughter doesn’t know who he is, as she lives with Nazanin’s parents in Tehran and only speaks to him through FaceTime

The family pictured before Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe visited Iran and was arrested on spy charges

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last month to demand the release of the British mother.

Mr Hunt lobbied Iran’s leaders about Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe over her two-year imprisonment on dubious spying charges.  

She was sentenced to five years in prison for plotting to overthrow the Iranian regime, which she strenuously denies.

She was reunited with Gabriella during a three-day temporary release in August.But after being forced back to jail, she has suffered health problems and panic attacks.

Her husband, who has campaigned tirelessly for her release, says the detention is having a worsening effect.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (pictured with Gabriella) met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last month to demand the release of the British mother

Mr Ratcliffe revealed that he still buys his wife presents every year, including a handbag and a furry hat, and has them wrapped up waiting for her to return home

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