Mother threatens to go on hunger strike after being dragged back to prison

Convicted for spying in 2016, British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe threatened to go on a hunger strike after she was taken back to prison in Iran.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, revealed that Nazanin wanted to go on a hunger strike because of utter disappointment as she maintained her innocence.

But Richard, who shares a four-year-old daughter with Nazanin, said he and their families managed to talk her out of it.

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Five-year sentence

The 40-year-old mother has been jailed in Iran since 2016 after being sentenced to five years in prison for spying. She was granted a three-day temporary release on August 30, 2018 after 2 years in prison and got reunited with her family.

But she was dragged back to prison in Tehran after the judiciary rejected a request to extend her temporary release.

“This feels a dark world. I used to pray, but these past two years I’ve lost much of my faith. Who would take a child from their mother?” she said on the phone to her husband before going back to prison.

“I was so happy yesterday walking in the street seeing normal life again, but I also envied the people in the street walking, holding their children’s hands. I just want a normal life.”

Going back to prison after just three days with her family was heart-breaking for Nazanin, especially since she was told earlier in the day that authorities had approved a request to put in by her lawyer for an extension to the furlough.

Unexpected call

Nazanin burst into tears after learning that her request had been rejected. She was surprised when she received a call from the prosecutor’s office informing her that she had to return to Evin prison before sunset, just 10 minutes after she arrived home.

Her husband recalled his wife telling the deputy prosecutor, “How can you take me away from my baby when she needs me?”

“I haven’t done anything wrong – you just extended my cellmate’s furlough, and she is serving a longer sentence for bigger crimes,” she added. “You know I didn’t do anything in the first place. I have spent two and a half years in prison, and I haven’t committed any crime.”

With heavy heart, Nazanin returned to the prison to avoid being dragged out of the house, which might upset her daughter even more.

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