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British Citizens Imprisoned Overseas and Coronavirus

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:02 pm on 2nd March 2020.

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Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 5:02 pm, 2nd March 2020

The hon. Lady is right to raise this case. Things may have moved on a little bit today in terms of the testing with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. The hon. Lady will appreciate that we are unable to comment on any medical assessments without the permission of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe. We are in touch, and have been in touch today, with her husband. I can assure the hon. Lady that we are in close contact with the Iranian authorities to urge them to secure a temporary release for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on medical grounds. We clearly do not think she should be in prison in Iran in the first place.

The hon. Lady referred to the debt. We do not share the view that the IMS—International Military Services—debt, or any other bilateral issue, is the reason for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s detention. We expect Iran to live up to its responsibilities under international human rights law and the Vienna convention on consular relations, and to release Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and all other dual nationals that are in Iran.