Richard Ratcliffe wrote about this back in November, when we had a chance to bring in a government that would help UK citizens wrongly convicted in foreign lands.
He referred to the fact that, after his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed on a false charge of spying, others have also been arrested, accused and imprisoned.
In an open letter to Boris Johnson, he wrote: “Other British Iranians have been arrested and sentenced, particularly in Spring 2018 and again this summer.
“The UK now has more prisoners held in Evin prison than any of its allies.”
Mr Johnson had worsened Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s situation when he made a false statement about her in Parliament, which the Iranian government had seized, intending to use it to double her five-year sentence.
The Iranian government has linked her plight with its demand for the payment of an arms debt said to be owed by the UK to Iran (from a government company called IMS).
As Mr Ratcliffe stated, the Iranian government has also arrested other British, or part-British, citizens.
Among these are Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, held in Evin prison since 2018 on a 10-year sentence for spying.
She has now begun a hunger strike, alongside French-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah.
It won’t do her any good. Nazanin went on hunger strike, along with her husband, last year. It attracted no interest – from either the Iranian government or the British.
We may hope that the Australian government has more concern for the welfare of its joint citizens than the British under Boris Johnson. He couldn’t care less.
She celebrated (if you can call it that) her birthday on December 26:
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has her birthday today. She should be with her family, not in an Iranian jail. Time for @BorisJohnson and @DominicRaab to finally right this wrong and work to #FreeNazanin pic.twitter.com/PypG0hsvOZ
— 🌹 Liz McInnes 🌈 (@LizMcInnes60) December 26, 2019
Neither Boris Johnson nor Dominic Raab have any interest in helping Nazanin, let alone Ms Moore-Gilbert.
Boris Johnson is working harder on his suntan, over in the billionaires’ playground island of Mustique.
The UK had a chance to elect a government that takes the welfare of its citizens more seriously – but we blew it.
Let us hope, for Ms Moore-Gilbert’s sake, that the Australian government takes its duties more seriously.
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