LONDON: Come Father’s day, the daughter of a British national detained in Iranian jail will deliver the greeting card to the UK Foreign Office to step up pressure for his release.
Arab News reported Morad Tahbaz has been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison for 1,618 days, despite assurances from the UK government that he would be released along with fellow UK detainees Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori.
Tahbaz’s daughter, Roxanne, said: “Government officials led us to believe that our father would be released alongside Nazanin and Anoosheh three months ago.
“Even the furlough, publicly announced by the Foreign Office, has not been upheld, as my father is still deteriorating in prison. “At this juncture, there is only one way the Foreign Office can regain the faith we once had in our government.
“They need to urgently renegotiate with the Iranian authorities, and this time ensure they bring our father — and mother — a home without delay.”
Tahbaz will deliver a Father’s Day card and accompanying gift to the Foreign Office on June 16, exactly three months from the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Ashoori, requesting UK officials arrange for their delivery to her imprisoned father.
In addition, she will renew calls for foreign secretary Liz Truss to meet her to explain what the government is doing to secure her father’s release.
Amnesty launched its “No-one Left Behind” campaign in support of Tahbaz and another UK national, Mehran Raoof, who was detained by Iran in what Amnesty claims is a policy of holding dual-nationals hostage on “trumped charges” for diplomatic purposes.
Amnesty UK’s Urgent Actions Campaigner Jo Atkins-Potts said: “UK officials palmed (Tahbaz’s) family off with false assurances.
“Given everything we know about Iran’s track record on arbitrarily detaining foreign nationals, it’s painfully obvious the UK government has failed the Tahbaz family — they now need to make amends for this.”
Tahbaz, 66, also holds US nationality. He is a wildlife conservationist who, together with seven other conservationists, was detained in January 2018.
In 2019, he was given a 10-year prison sentence after an unfair trial, despite suffering from multiple health conditions and being denied access to medical care. In addition, his wife has also been placed under a travel ban by Iranian authorities.