Wera Hobhouse, along with fellow MPs from six parties, spoke out against the horrific treatment of dual-nationals imprisoned in Iran.
Recent petitions in the European Parliament, in the US Congress and in the Canadian Parliament have expressed the gravest concerns at the treatment of dual-nationals being imprisoned in Iran.
This government must not be afraid to put its head above the parapet and speak up. We do not stand for our citizens being detained on bogus charges, having their human rights denied and their families broken apart. We must declare our outrage at the treatment of our nationals abroad.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a dual national of both the UK and Iran. For over two years, she has been a prisoner. Arrested at Tehran Airport in 2016 accused of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment, she was subsequently convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment.
For the last eight and a half months, she has been held in solitary confinement whilst the Iranian government have conducted numerous trials in secret courts, and denied her access to basic human rights. This government have failed to recognise any violation of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s rights.
A month ahead of Boris Johnson’s visit to Tehran in December 2017, he said to a committee of MPs that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching journalists in Iran. This added fuel to the fire to Iranian suspicions that she was in fact a spy. He apologised for making such an unsubstantiated claim and promised to get her back to the UK. When he visited the country, he failed to make any ground in her case. He not only broke his promise, he made her situation worse.
Wera Hobhouse said: “The Iranian treatment of dual-nationals is absolutely shocking. Nazanin has been through such a horrendous ordeal, all while this government had stayed silent. It is a disgrace that they have failed her so badly; they must do the right thing and reunite this family. They need to say enough is enough, we do not stand for this, and we aren’t afraid to say it. This must also be a red line in any future trade deals negotiated with that country. “