Campaign

Press Release

November 13, 2021

Richard Ratcliffe's 21-day Hunger Strike to #FreeNazanin Draws Global Attention

November 13, 2021

November 7, 2021 For Immediate Release
Contact: Larry Everest (202) 935-1652
press@freeiranspoliticalprisonersnow.org
Twitter @IranPrisonEmerg

Interviews available

Elika Ashoori, Daughter of Political Prisoner Anoosheh Ashoori & Signer of Emergency Appeal, to Join Hunger Strike on Monday

International Campaign (IEC) Demands Free All Iran's Political Prisoners Now

UPDATE November 13:

Today Richard Ratcliffe ended his 21-day hunger strike to free his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen who has been unjustly held by the Islamic Republic of Iran for over five years on unproven espionage charges. She was recently given an additional one-year sentence, and also banned from leaving Iran for a year after that, prompting her husband’s second hunger strike in protest.

Ratcliffe’s action drew widespread support including from our Campaign and its supporters including Elika Ashoori and Mariam Claren, who both have parents now imprisoned in Iran. Ratcliffe’s hunger strike also attracted global media attention, shining a light on Iran’s illegitimate and depraved treatment and imprisonment of a vast array of political dissidents, including many dual nationals.

Ratcliffe’s courageous hunger strike and the enormous attention it attracted underscores the urgent need—and potential—to spread and strengthen the International Emergency Campaign and its urgent Appeal and step up the fight to free ALL Iran’s political prisoners now.

November 7, 2021:

On Monday, Elika Ashoori, the daughter of political prisoner Anoosheh Ashoori and a signer of the Emergency Appeal to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners, will join Richard Ratcliffe outside the British Foreign Office in London for the 16th day of his hunger strike. Ratcliffe is demanding the UK take stronger action to free his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, unjustly held by Iran for over five years on unproven espionage charges.

Both Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, as well as Mehran Raoof and Morad Tahbaz, are dual UK-Iranian citizens who have been imprisoned by Iran.

Elika Ashoori, Daughter of Political Prisoner Anoosheh Ashoori & Signer of Emergency Appeal, to Join Hunger Strike on Monday

International Campaign (IEC) Demands Free All Iran's Political Prisoners Now

UPDATE November 13:

Today Richard Ratcliffe ended his 21-day hunger strike to free his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen who has been unjustly held by the Islamic Republic of Iran for over five years on unproven espionage charges. She was recently given an additional one-year sentence, and also banned from leaving Iran for a year after that, prompting her husband’s second hunger strike in protest.

Ratcliffe’s action drew widespread support including from our Campaign and its supporters including Elika Ashoori and Mariam Claren, who both have parents now imprisoned in Iran. Ratcliffe’s hunger strike also attracted global media attention, shining a light on Iran’s illegitimate and depraved treatment and imprisonment of a vast array of political dissidents, including many dual nationals.

Ratcliffe’s courageous hunger strike and the enormous attention it attracted underscores the urgent need—and potential—to spread and strengthen the International Emergency Campaign and its urgent Appeal and step up the fight to free ALL Iran’s political prisoners now.

November 7, 2021:

On Monday, Elika Ashoori, the daughter of political prisoner Anoosheh Ashoori and a signer of the Emergency Appeal to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners, will join Richard Ratcliffe outside the British Foreign Office in London for the 16th day of his hunger strike. Ratcliffe is demanding the UK take stronger action to free his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, unjustly held by Iran for over five years on unproven espionage charges.

Both Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, as well as Mehran Raoof and Morad Tahbaz, are dual UK-Iranian citizens who have been imprisoned by Iran.

“I'm joining to show solidarity with Richard and to put pressure on the British government to take a more serious approach to the issue of British hostages in Iran,” states Ms. Ashoori. “So far, for over five years, their strategy has failed and people like my father, among many others, still languish inside a prison cell while the governments don't treat the issue with the urgency it deserves. We want to make it very difficult for them to carry on downplaying the severity of this problem.”

Mariam Claren, a signer of the Emergency Appeal whose mother Nahid Taghavi (a German-Iranian dual national) has also been unjustly imprisoned, sent a solidarity statement supporting Ratcliffe’s hunger strike:

“It's a shame that Richard has had to go on his second hunger strike in the last two years. And it is more shameful, that the British Government has failed for over five years to protect Nazanin and fight for her freedom. If the problem is between two governments over an old debt, why must an innocent mother be made to suffer? There are no excuses for human rights violations – in the Islamic Republic or the UK.”

“The International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners (IEC) supports Richard Ratcliffe in his courageous hunger strike, and we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all dual nationals being illegitimately imprisoned by Iran,” says spokesperson Larry Everest. “We call on all who stand for justice to sign and urgently spread An Emergency Appeal: The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance – We Must ACT NOW! demanding freedom for all Iran's political prisoners.”

The Appeal concludes: "We demand of the Islamic Republic of Iran: FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW"

"We say to the U.S government: NO THREATS OR WAR MOVES AGAINST IRAN, LIFT U.S. SANCTIONS"

It has been endorsed by some 3,000 people globally, including Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Gloria Steinem, Ariel Dorfman, Jody Williams, Daniel Ellsberg, Judith Butler, and Raymond Lotta, and appeared as an ad on the back cover of the Summer issue of the New York Review of Books.

Richard Ratcliffe and Elika Ashoori, joined by UK MP Florence Eshalomi on Day 11 of hunger strike. @FloEshalomi
Dual national political prisoners being held in Iran
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