The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian mother being held in a Tehran prison, has set up a tent outside of the Iranian embassy and joined his wife on hunger strike in protest over the 41-year-old’s “unfair treatment”. Father-of-one Richard Ratcliffe is holding a vigil outside the Iranian embassy in London and has vowed not to eat until his wife ends her hunger strike. Protesters who have joined Mr Ratcliffe have warned that metal fencing erected by the Iranian embassy following the protest is simply an attempt by the Iran embassy to “scare Richard off”.
These barriers serve no function but to intimidate him and his fellow peaceful protesters
Howell Productions, who have been on site to offer Mr Ratcliffe support, wrote on Twitter: “Appalling behaviour this morning in response to the peaceful hunger strike Richard is undertaking!
“Moving barriers to block off the tree of hope and try to scare Richard off! We will not be beaten.”
Peyvand Khorsandi has also called on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt to demand the Iran ambassador “stop the intimidation”.
In a video uploaded to his Twitter outside of the Kensington-based embassy, Mr Khorsandi can be heard shouting “this is not Iran” as he is told not her cannot film outside of the building.
Addressing Jeremy Hunt, Mr Khorsandi said: “Yesterday a metal barrier was erected to distance him from the embassy’s railings.
“These barriers serve no function but to intimidate him and his fellow peaceful protesters – they were extended today to block a wooden ‘tree of hope’.”
Charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is currently serving a five-year sentence at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison after being convicted of spying, an accusation she has repeatedly denied.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested and jailed in 2016 at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran as she tried to board a plane back to the UK with her daughter.
Mr Ratcliffe told BBC News: “It has gone on long enough and it is time for her to be released. Beyond that, the immediate thing is one of the demands we had is for the British ambassador to be able to go and visit her and make sure she is ok.
“Obviously, hunger strikes are no small thing.
“Thirdly, if she is not going to be released then I’d like to be able to get a visa to go to Iran to see Nazanin, to see Gabriella and just after all this time to see how they are doing.”
Mr Ratcliffe said the police have been telephoned multiple times by the embassy to make sure the protesters were not on the steps of the building, nor touching the fence.
The Iran embassy have alleged the fences were put in place to prepare to pain the railings.
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