By Bill Heaney
Wendy Chamberlain MP has signed-up to take part in the FiLiA Women’s Solidarity Hunger Strike, to put pressure on the UK Government to secure the freedom of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from detention in Iran.
The campaign by FiLiA, a female-led volunteer organisation working for the liberation of women, will have women around the world taking turns to fast for 24 hours each. With volunteers signed up as far in the future as 2024, it is hoped that the situation will be resolved before many have to take part.
Wendy Chamberlain, pictured above, is due to hold her own hunger strike on 16th May 2023. The MP previously met Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin’s husband, during his 21-day hunger strike outside the Foreign Office.
Chamberlain said: “Nazanin and her family have been badly let down by the UK government and it’s a privilege to stand in solidarity with all those joining the FiLiA hunger strike protest.
“It is heart-warming to see that so many women, from around the world, have already signed-up to take part but it should never have come to this.
“The Prime Minister, pictured below, promised that he would leave no stone left unturned in his efforts to secure Nazanin release. After more than five years, however, he has all but abandoned that promise and broken the trust that the family placed in him.
“The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly called for the Foreign Secretary to begin the process of introducing targeted sanctions against those responsible. The government must now do everything in its power to bring Nazanin home and reunited her with her family.”
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 37-year-old charity worker and British citizen holding dual Iranian nationality, was on holiday visiting her family in Iran when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
She has been held in Tehran for more than five-and-a-half years on bogus accusations of spying. Successive Conservative foreign secretaries, including Boris Johnson, have promised and failed to secure her freedom.
Nazanin’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, held a 21-day hunger strike that ended on the 13th of November in order to make sure he was well enough to care for their daughter, Gabriella. Whilst the strike did attract a lot of press attention and support from various political parties, the hoped for breakthrough did not appear as Boris Johnson refused to meet with Richard, and his meeting with the Middle East minister, James Cleverly, came to nothing.
Nazanin’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe. on hunger strike at Downing Street.