Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Forced Confession - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:58 pm on 24th May 2022.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 7:58 pm, 24th May 2022

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer given by my right honourable friend the Minister for Asia to an Urgent Question in another place. The Statement is as follows:

“The treatment of Nazanin by the Islamic Republic of Iran has been horrendous. Her ordeal was extended when Iran made it clear that it would not allow her to leave Tehran airport unless she signed a document.

A UK official was present to help facilitate the departure of both Nazanin and Anoosheh Ashoori, and passed on the message from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that she needed to sign a confession. Given the situation Iran put Nazanin in at the airport, she took the decision to sign the document. No UK official forced Nazanin to do so. Iran has a practice of insisting that detainees sign documents before they are released. Nothing about the cruel treatment by Iran of detainees can be described as acceptable, including at the point of release.

We will continue to raise human rights concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran, including over its detention of foreign nationals. The Government of Iran must end their practice of unfairly detaining British and other foreign nationals. We will continue to work with like-minded international partners to achieve this end.”