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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'interrogated' and blocked from seeing Gabriella as joint hunger strike continues

PUBLISHED: 10:36 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 24 June 2019

Richard Ratcliffe continues his hunger strike outside the Iranian embassy in London. Picture: Polly Hancock

Richard Ratcliffe continues his hunger strike outside the Iranian embassy in London. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was blocked from seeing daughter Gabriella yesterday and interrogated instead, husband Richard said.

Richard Ratcliffe phones Gabriella during the singing for Nazanin outside of the embassy. Picture: Free NazaninRichard Ratcliffe phones Gabriella during the singing for Nazanin outside of the embassy. Picture: Free Nazanin

As the couple's hunger strike continues into a tenth day - Richard camped in front of the Iranian Embassy in Knightsbridge, Nazanin in Tehran's Evin prison - he explained in a video diary for advocacy site Change.org that they had had "feedback" from the Iranian authorites.

This had taken the form of an interrogation, he said, where Nazanin was told she would not be released before her sentence was completed in 18 months time.

According to Richard she was also again threatened with a second court case over spying charges - which has been hanging over heard for two years - and Boris Johnson's comments that she was "teaching journalists" were again brought up against her.

This comes after a weekend where supporters of the West Hampstead couple, have joined friends and family to help Richard to demonstrate over Nazanin's continuing imprisonment.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with a young Gabriella before Nazanin was arrested in April 2016. Picture: Free NazaninNazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with a young Gabriella before Nazanin was arrested in April 2016. Picture: Free Nazanin

On Saturday, they helped the Ratcliffe family to paint stones in support of Nazanin, while on Sunday afternoon there was a pointed sing-a-long - those outside the embassy sang tunes including Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Queen's Don't Stop Me Know (which of course includes the lyric "I want to break free") on the pavement.

This coincided with a distressed phone call from Nazanin to Richard regarding the interrogation, so she was at least able to hear the support for her in London.

On Saturday, Richard told this newspaper that, while she was fragile, Nazanin was ever

"It has been quite an amazing week, really. It's probably had a few different phases. Right at the beginning I was feeling quite vulnerable, and then they were obviously trying to move us off.

Songs for Nazanin outside of the Iranian Embassy. Picture: Free Nazanin campaignSongs for Nazanin outside of the Iranian Embassy. Picture: Free Nazanin campaign

"They calmed down a bit after that, and they were briefing against us in the media.

"So many people who have been following the story have come to meet us. It's been lovely, we've had a number of Iranians - who have been through similar things - come down too, I think we've temporarily made the embassy safe for them...

He explained that "there's clearly stuff going on behind the scenes, we just have to wait and see what that is."

Foreign office minister Dr Andrew Murrison has been Iran this weekend and he said he had discussed Nazanin's case.

Painted stones in support of Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, outside the Iranian Embassy in Knightsbridge, London, as his hunger strike enters its eighth day.  Picture: Victoria Jones/PA WirePainted stones in support of Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, outside the Iranian Embassy in Knightsbridge, London, as his hunger strike enters its eighth day. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

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He said: "While in Tehran, I also pressed again on behalf of the UK Government for the urgent and unconditional release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and all British-Iranian dual nationals who are being arbitrarily detained."

Richard Ratcliffe's parents Barbara and John with a stack of post addressed to him outside of the Iranian Embassy. Picture: Polly HancockRichard Ratcliffe's parents Barbara and John with a stack of post addressed to him outside of the Iranian Embassy. Picture: Polly Hancock

Richard Ratcliffe, with some of the stones painted for Nazanin. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA WireRichard Ratcliffe, with some of the stones painted for Nazanin. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Placards outside the Iranian Embassy in London, where Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, is on a hunger strike outside the embassy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Iran. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA WirePlacards outside the Iranian Embassy in London, where Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of detained Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, is on a hunger strike outside the embassy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Iran. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

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