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UK Foreign Office: Citizens arrested abroad have ‘no right to our help’

Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, poses for a photograph after delivering a Mother's Day card and flowers to the Iranian Embassy in London, Britain March 31, 2019. (Reuters/File Photo)
Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, poses for a photograph after delivering a Mother's Day card and flowers to the Iranian Embassy in London, Britain March 31, 2019. (Reuters/File Photo)

 

Arab News
December 28, 2020 18:04
 
 
  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe legal team: ‘That sends an extremely alarming message to … the British public’

LONDON: British citizens unjustly arrested abroad have no right to government protection even if they face torture or are used as diplomatic leverage against the UK, the Foreign Office has warned.

The comments were made in a letter to lawyers representing Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Iranian-British dual national detained by Tehran, The Times newspaper reported.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to five years in prison on charges of “sowing dissent” against the Iranian regime, which she denies. Tehran’s actions have been widely condemned as being politically motivated.

Since Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s arrest, she has not once been visited by UK officials either in prison or at home, where she has been since March.

The Foreign Office claimed that because Iran has not granted its request for consular access, it is powerless to act.

Sarah Broughton, head of consular affairs at the Foreign Office, said in the letter to the Zaghari-Ratcliffe legal team that “British citizens falsely accused overseas have no legal right to consular assistance.”

In response, the legal team said: “If it is really the government’s position that it has no obligations even in the extreme and unique circumstances of Nazanin’s case, then that sends an extremely alarming message to the rest of the British public.”

Despite UN experts finding that Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s mistreatment in detention amounts to torture, Broughton said the UK government “cannot investigate torture or mistreatment allegations.”

David Walters, founder of Arrest Abroad and a 30-year veteran of the Foreign Office, said: “The Foreign Office is hamstrung over Nazanin’s case. It is impotent and paralyzed.”

Tulip Siddiq, the Zaghari-Ratcliffe family’s local MP, said: “The UK government is failing at its most basic duty: To protect its citizens.” 

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1784031/world

 

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I've followed this Ratcliffe case for a while, and it's funny how the English media refuse to entertain the possibility that she may actually be MI6 as the Iranians claim. It's a common intelligence t

It's not only about spying on the ruling elites. These people are placed to form ground level networks too, for a variety of reasons. They can then use sympathetic people at ground level to do some of

Sure. I think likelihood she is spy is quite high. Husband is posho gora, she is middle class, it all fits.

The British foreign office is making the UK a laughing stock in front of the world and all civilized mature democracies and societies that respect the rule of international laws and UN charter of human rights can see whats going on here.

It's sending a terrible and dangerous message to countries and brutal evil regimes aboard like the Indian establishment (known to have conduct state terrorism and state genocide against Sikhs of india since 1947) that you can freely put on trial any british citizen that's in their country and the UK won't intervene or say a word or uphold the rights of their own citizen.

people need to start waking up and asking their political representatives whats going on here? in whose interests are the foreign office working for and fighting for if not for their own British citizens.

 

 

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  • 9 months later...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-58940458

 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: British-Iranian aid worker loses court appeal in Iran

Published
17 hours ago

The British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has lost an appeal against a second jail sentence in Iran.

Her family said on Saturday that there had been no court hearing, but her lawyer was informed of the outcome.

First jailed for five years in 2016 after being accused of plotting against the regime, she was sentenced to another year's confinement in April on charges of "spreading propaganda".

She spent the final year of her term on parole at her parents' home in Tehran.

But concerns have been raised that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe may now be sent back to prison.

Speaking to the BBC, her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said that his wife was "waiting for the call to summon her back" and said that she was "traumatised at the thought of having to go back to jail".

She had called her daughter several times over the course of the day to tell her she loves her, such is her fear that her return to confinement may be imminent, he said.

Mr Ratcliffe has not seen his wife in person since her imprisonment in 2016. Their daughter, Gabriella, who was with her mother in Tehran when she was arrested, has been with him in the UK since 2019.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss denounced the Iranian decision as "an appalling continuation of the cruel ordeal" Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is going through.

"We are doing all we can to help Nazanin get home to her young daughter and family and I will continue to press Iran on this point," Ms Truss said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was a project manager for the charity Thomson Reuters Foundation when she was was arrested in April 2016 after having taken her daughter to Iran to celebrate the Iranian new year and to visit her parents.

Iranian authorities alleged that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was plotting to topple the government in Tehran and Iran's Revolutionary Guards accused her of leading a "foreign-linked hostile network" when she visited.

She completed a five-year sentence in March this year, only to be slapped with a fresh one-year jail term for "propaganda against the system".

She is one of a number of Western passport holders being held by Iran in what human rights groups condemn as a policy of hostage-taking aimed at winning concessions from foreign powers.

Her husband has alleged that she is being held hostage over a long-standing debt of £400m ($550m) that Britain owes Iran for a tank deal that was never fulfilled.

2px presentational grey line

Price for freedom

Analysis by Caroline Hawley, BBC Diplomatic Correspondent

Over the five and a half years since Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's arrest, it has become increasingly clear that she's a chess piece in a geopolitical game, and that political calculations lie behind Iran's legal moves against her.

The UK government repeatedly says it's doing all it can to get her home. But Iran has made it abundantly clear that her freedom - and that of other dual nationals - will come at a price.

In particular, it wants the UK to repay the debt owed since before Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was born, when Iran bought tanks that were not delivered after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Richard Ratcliffe sees the failure of her appeal - without even a court hearing - as merely a "judicial figleaf" for continuing to hold her hostage. And he fears that unless the debt is paid she is "never coming home".

 
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1 hour ago, Premi5 said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-58940458

 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: British-Iranian aid worker loses court appeal in Iran

Published
17 hours ago

The British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has lost an appeal against a second jail sentence in Iran.

Her family said on Saturday that there had been no court hearing, but her lawyer was informed of the outcome.

First jailed for five years in 2016 after being accused of plotting against the regime, she was sentenced to another year's confinement in April on charges of "spreading propaganda".

She spent the final year of her term on parole at her parents' home in Tehran.

But concerns have been raised that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe may now be sent back to prison.

Speaking to the BBC, her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said that his wife was "waiting for the call to summon her back" and said that she was "traumatised at the thought of having to go back to jail".

She had called her daughter several times over the course of the day to tell her she loves her, such is her fear that her return to confinement may be imminent, he said.

Mr Ratcliffe has not seen his wife in person since her imprisonment in 2016. Their daughter, Gabriella, who was with her mother in Tehran when she was arrested, has been with him in the UK since 2019.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss denounced the Iranian decision as "an appalling continuation of the cruel ordeal" Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is going through.

"We are doing all we can to help Nazanin get home to her young daughter and family and I will continue to press Iran on this point," Ms Truss said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was a project manager for the charity Thomson Reuters Foundation when she was was arrested in April 2016 after having taken her daughter to Iran to celebrate the Iranian new year and to visit her parents.

Iranian authorities alleged that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was plotting to topple the government in Tehran and Iran's Revolutionary Guards accused her of leading a "foreign-linked hostile network" when she visited.

She completed a five-year sentence in March this year, only to be slapped with a fresh one-year jail term for "propaganda against the system".

She is one of a number of Western passport holders being held by Iran in what human rights groups condemn as a policy of hostage-taking aimed at winning concessions from foreign powers.

Her husband has alleged that she is being held hostage over a long-standing debt of £400m ($550m) that Britain owes Iran for a tank deal that was never fulfilled.

2px presentational grey line

Price for freedom

Analysis by Caroline Hawley, BBC Diplomatic Correspondent

Over the five and a half years since Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's arrest, it has become increasingly clear that she's a chess piece in a geopolitical game, and that political calculations lie behind Iran's legal moves against her.

The UK government repeatedly says it's doing all it can to get her home. But Iran has made it abundantly clear that her freedom - and that of other dual nationals - will come at a price.

In particular, it wants the UK to repay the debt owed since before Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was born, when Iran bought tanks that were not delivered after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Richard Ratcliffe sees the failure of her appeal - without even a court hearing - as merely a "judicial figleaf" for continuing to hold her hostage. And he fears that unless the debt is paid she is "never coming home".

 

Lost that hegemony eh?

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2 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

I've followed this Ratcliffe case for a while, and it's funny how the English media refuse to entertain the possibility that she may actually be MI6 as the Iranians claim. It's a common intelligence tactic to send their people into hostile countries as NGO or charity personnel specialising in languages, which is what she was doing when she was arrested. People expecting MI6 agents to be 6ft well-built, loner white guys have bought into the Hollywood fantasy. 

 

2 hours ago, MisterrSingh said:

I've followed this Ratcliffe case for a while, and it's funny how the English media refuse to entertain the possibility that she may actually be MI6 as the Iranians claim. It's a common intelligence tactic to send their people into hostile countries as NGO or charity personnel specialising in languages, which is what she was doing when she was arrested. People expecting MI6 agents to be 6ft well-built, loner white guys have bought into the Hollywood fantasy. 

Agreed. But I have never understood how a few individuals as 'spies' can do much ; unless they are very close to the top of the hierachy

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5 minutes ago, Premi5 said:

 

Agreed. But I have never understood how a few individuals as 'spies' can do much ; unless they are very close to the top of the hierachy

It's not only about spying on the ruling elites. These people are placed to form ground level networks too, for a variety of reasons. They can then use sympathetic people at ground level to do some of the spying, hide people (like defectors) and documents, foster disillusionment etc. etc. 

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13 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

It's not only about spying on the ruling elites. These people are placed to form ground level networks too, for a variety of reasons. They can then use sympathetic people at ground level to do some of the spying, hide people (like defectors) and documents, foster disillusionment etc. etc. 

Sure.

I think likelihood she is spy is quite high. Husband is posho gora, she is middle class, it all fits.

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5 minutes ago, Premi5 said:

They let this one off easily, maybe the Iranians are just a lot harsher

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-46318655

 

Uk didn't collect money for tanks and never deliver to the uae.

Who knows what a westernized woman might say in iran that would not fly at all. 

She could be a spy or just a women with a big mouth in a country that does not tolerate criticism that's owed a lot of money by thieving low life brits. 

It's not like the uk is ransoming kidnapped people from terrorists. They owe iran money. Pay them. Then demand all your people back. Or don't pay them and demand all your people back. 

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https://inews.co.uk/opinion/richard-ratcliffe-hunger-strike-uk-nazanin-zaghari-husband-1272658

Richard Ratcliffe: I’m on hunger strike because the UK is failing in it’s duty to bring Nazanin home

The Foreign Secretary must lead in a new direction by taking take strong, proactive, and effective action to protect British citizens

Richard is now camping outside the UK Foreign Office, demanding that they play their role in protecting their citizen (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Richard is now camping outside the UK Foreign Office, demanding that they play their role in protecting their citizen (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
October 28, 2021 10:40 am
 

Today, Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and his legal team will meet with the Foreign Secretary to discuss what the UK government needs to do to bring Nazanin home and put an end to Iran’s hostage-taking. The Foreign Secretary’s invitation came two days after Richard began his second hunger strike over Nazanin’s ongoing detention in Iran.

During his first hunger strike in 2019, Richard camped outside the Iranian embassy for two weeks, calling on Iran to release his wife. Two years later, he is now camping outside the UK Foreign Office, demanding that they play their role in protecting their citizen.

Nazanin has been separated from her husband and young daughter, Gabriella, since her unlawful arrest in April 2016. She remains trapped in Iran and could be returned to jail at any moment, following the recent announcement that her appeal had failed on her second spurious prosecution for “spreading propaganda against the regime”.

Later this week, a delegation of Iranian officials are invited to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Cop26, in Glasgow. It is a blinding paradox that representatives of the regime detaining Nazanin can come to the UK, while Nazanin, a British citizen, cannot.

Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that Nazanin and other foreign nationals, including US, EU, Canadian and Australian citizens, are being held hostage by Iran for diplomatic leverage over their home countries. They are political pawns; victims of Iran’s systematic hostage-diplomacy.

Nazanin and her family have been told by Iranian officials that her release is contingent on the UK paying an historic £400 million military debt to Iran. Although the UK agrees it is legally required to pay this debt, years have passed by with the debt unpaid. Meanwhile, Nazanin remains an innocent victim of a diplomatic trade-off.

In Parliament this week, former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who granted Nazanin diplomatic protection in 2019, asked the new Foreign Secretary: “When are we going to repay that debt, and what will she do to make sure that hostage taking never pays going forward?”

Newly-appointed Liz Truss is the UK’s fifth foreign secretary since Nazanin’s arrest. Her predecessors have largely failed to take a stand against Iran, focusing on cautiously managing the situation, rather than changing it. Ms Truss must not make the same mistake. The Foreign Secretary must lead in a new direction by taking strong, proactive, and effective action to protect British citizens.

First, the Foreign Secretary must ensure that the UK pays its debt to Iran, to bring Nazanin and other British citizens home. Second, she must work together with allied states to impose a cost on Iran’s hostage-taking and end this practice.

Last month, REDRESS and the Free Nazanin Campaign submitted a dossier of evidence to the Foreign Secretary, asking her to impose Magnitsky sanctions on 10 Iranian officials involved in Iran’s hostage-taking. Magnitsky sanctions target individual human rights abusers by restricting their travel and freezing their assets.

We are calling on the Foreign Secretary to lead in imposing these sanctions in concert with the US, the EU and Canada. Multilateral, targeted sanctions impose a real-world cost on perpetrators and can trigger the behavioural change necessary to end Iran’s decades-old practice. They can also provide justice for victims and their families, who continue to suffer at the hands of these perpetrators.

Earlier this year, the UK and 55 allied states supported a Canadian-led declaration denouncing the arbitrary detention of foreign nationals used as bargaining chips in state-to-state relations. The Foreign Secretary must turn these words into actions by harnessing this political will, including in the form of multilateral Magnitsky sanctions.

It may be suggested that assertive action by the UK could prompt Iran to retaliate against the hostages. Yet Nazanin’s treatment by Iran, and the severe suffering caused by indefinite waiting and agonising uncertainty, already amounts to torture. For hostages in Iran and their families, the situation cannot get much worse. Their nightmare cannot be allowed to drift on for years.

The UK government must change course and commit to its enduring promise of leaving “no stone unturned” to bring Nazanin home. If the Government continues to fail, it is Nazanin, Richard, Gabriella, and countless other innocent citizens who pay the price.

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As discussed before, the fact that the prisoner is a photo-genic, westernised yet quite exotic-looking woman who's a mother to a young child, and a wife to an obviously well-heeled white gentleman, is why this story is being captalised upon by her family. If she is an intelligence operative who got caught, you can bet that if it was a non-descript middle-aged white chap who'd found himself in the same situation, he'd be dead by now either through the old cyanide pill in the tooth trick or otherwise, and we'd never have known his name. This is female privilege. 😅

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12 minutes ago, MisterrSingh said:

As discussed before, the fact that the prisoner is a photo-genic, westernised yet quite exotic-looking woman who's a mother to a young child, and a wife to an obviously well-heeled white gentleman, is why this story is being captalised upon by her family. If she is an intelligence operative who got caught, you can bet that if it was a non-descript middle-aged white chap who'd found himself in the same situation, he'd be dead by now either through the old cyanide pill in the tooth trick or otherwise, and we'd never have known his name. This is female privilege. 😅

Live by the sword, die by the sword. 

 

But I still feel very sorry for Jagtar Singh Johal 

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2 minutes ago, Premi5 said:

But I still feel very sorry for Jagtar Singh Johal 

Yes, he's a civilian moved to highlight issues that were being ignored to a certain degree. Better than strapping a bomb to yourself and blowing up passengers in a bus. But somehow the latter seems to grease the wheels towards getting preferential treatment for your people years down the line, lmao.

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