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Iran

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 28th June 2012.

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Photo of David Winnick David Winnick Labour, Walsall North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

(1) whether the Government plan to raise with other states the imprisonment and torture of Houtan Kian in Iran for legally defending Sakineh Ashtiani;

(2) whether he has made any representations to the Iranian authorities on the imprisonment and torture of Houtan Kian in Iran for legally defending Sakineh Ashtiani; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We remain concerned about the fate of Mr Javad Houtan Kian, who is guilty of nothing more than defending his client Sakineh Ashtiani and has no case to answer. Iran should overturn his sentence and release him immediately. We are further concerned by the mistreatment he is reported to have faced. This is something the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), addressed in his speech to the “Imprisoned in Iran” event hosted by The Times newspaper in September 2011. We raised Mr Kian's case with the Iranian authorities before the closure of our respective embassies late last year, and continue to call frequently on Iran to meet its international human rights obligations. We will continue work with our international partners to ensure that Mr Kian's case is not forgotten. The UK and its EU partners have sanctioned a number of individuals responsible for human rights abuses in Iran, including the prosecutor in Ashtiani's case.

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