I’ve co-signed a letter to Prime Ministerial candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt calling for action to secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained in Iran since 2016.
The letter, co-ordinated by Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s MP Tulip Siddiq, calls on the incoming Prime Minister to use the ‘robust protections’ at its disposal, including options available under diplomatic protection, to push for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release. The letter highlights that the judicial processes in Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case, and in both her treatment and those of other individuals unlawfully imprisoned by Iranian authorities, ‘falls far short of international standards, and Iran’s legal obligations’.
I was pleased to sign the letter in support of Nazanin and her family. The incoming Prime Minister has a number of key issues to resolve with Iran, which include its human rights record and the continued detention of dual British-Iranian nationals like Nazanin. As the letter rightly states, a Prime Minister’s first duty is to protect British citizens – including those unfairly held overseas – and Nazanin’s case cannot be forgotten at this key juncture
Full text of joint letter co-ordinated by Tulip Siddiq MP:
Dear Prime Ministerial candidates,
We appreciate that your ‘to-do’ list is significant, but we want to take this opportunity to write regarding Iran’s unfair imprisonment of British nationals and residents used for diplomatic leverage.
We have very strong humanitarian and health concerns about the continued unlawful imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and several other individuals. As you will know, the judicial processes used in their cases and their treatment whilst detained have fallen far short of international standards, and Iran’s legal obligations.
We know that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has long worked on these cases but we want to see the Government use the robust protections at its disposal, including the options available under diplomatic protection. Innocent people have now been held for many years.
We want to take this opportunity to urge the United Kingdom to work with international allies and at the UN to ensure an end to this practice. We believe that it should be a Prime Minister’s first duty to protect British citizens, including those who are unfairly held overseas.