Sign the petition to #FreeJimFitton

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, May 06, 2022 11:05

Jim Fitton is a British Citizen who travelled to Iraq to take part in a geology and archaeology tour. Whilst on the tour he was told that he could take pottery fragments as a souvenir of the visit, but he is no on trial for attempting to smuggle historical artefacts out of the country. He now faces the possibility of the death penalty.

Jim is not the only person in his group. There is a German who is in the same position and the German Foreign Office is intervening.

We need the Foreign Office to step in and ensure Jim Fitton's safe return to the UK.

There is a petition asking the Foreign Office to act and it has already reached over 100,000 signatures. You can read the text below.

Please help us free our father, Jim Fitton. Jim is a 66 year old British Citizen and has been a geologist all his life, working all over the world. Whilst on a geology and archaeology tour in Iraq earlier this year he was arrested at the airport, trying to fly home. He has since been detained and is due to stand trial in May. The statutory punishment for his alleged crime is execution.
 
He has been imprisoned for allegedly attempting to smuggle historical artefacts out of Iraq.
 
Whilst on the tour, our father visited historical sites around Iraq, where his tour group found fragments of stones and shards of broken pottery in piles on the ground. These fragments were in the open, unguarded and with no signage warning against removal.
 
Tour leaders also collected the shards as souvenirs at the site in Eridu. Tour members were told that this would not be an issue, as the broken shards had no economic or historical value. Now the tour leader, another British citizen, has passed away from a stroke in custody in Baghdad, and our father awaits his fate.  
 
We think that our father may be put on trial the week commencing 8th May, after Eid in Iraq. We have days to save him before sentencing and we need the Foreign Office to help by intervening in his case now!  Our lawyer has drafted a proposal for cessation of the case and the immediate repatriation of our father, which requires the backing of the Foreign Office to put to the Iraqi judiciary. The Foreign Office has, after a long delay, refused to help us at this time and are leaving our father to his fate. We feel completely alone whilst our father sits in a holding cell, hundreds of miles away awaiting what could be a death sentence.
 
Please help free our father. He is a retired geologist and a loving family man, not a criminal. The foreign office needs to do everything they can to save his life and bring him home.
 
Thank you for signing.
 
Leila Fitton, Joshua Fitton and Sam Tasker

Sign the petition

 

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