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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Iranian counterpart on the cases of Iranian conservation scientists (a) Niloufar Bayani, (b) Taher Ghadirian, (c) Houman Jokar, (d) Amirhossein Khaleghi Hamidi and (e) Sepideh Kashani; and if he will (i) request the immediate release of the scientists, and (ii) make a statement on the use of torture to extract forced confessions.
We are aware of reports of the sentencing of the Iranian conservation scientists Niloufar Bayani, Taher Ghadirian, Houman Jokar, Amirhossein Khaleghi Hamidi and Sepideh Kashani. The Foreign Secretary has not made representations to his counterpart specifically on these cases because they do not involve British nationals. The UK regularly raises human rights with the Iranian authorities at all levels and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record on all human rights issues. Any report of the use of torture to extract forced confessions is extremely concerning. The UK consistently and unreservedly condemns torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and it is a priority for us to challenge it wherever and whenever it occurs.