Britain, France and Germany summon Iran ambassadors over detention of dual citizens

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was visited at her family home by Revolutionary Guards officers this week in an attempt to intimidate her. (File/AFP)
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Updated 24 September 2020

Britain, France and Germany summon Iran ambassadors over detention of dual citizens

  • Britain’s foreign office summoned the Iranian ambassador to the UK on Tuesday to meet senior officials
  • France is trying to secure the release of French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelka who was arrested in 2018

LONDON: Britain, France and Germany are summoning Iranian ambassadors in a diplomatic protest against the Islamic Republic’s detention of dual nationals and the harsh treatment that political prisoners endure.
Britain’s foreign office summoned the Iranian ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad on Tuesday to meet senior officials, The Guardian reported. A letter handed to the ambassador seen by the British newspaper said that Iran’s policy of arbitrary detention was seriously damaging its international standing.
The Iranian ambassadors in Paris and Berlin are also being summoned this week.
The coordinated protest against Iranian human rights abuses is the first of its kind by the three E3 countries and comes as concern grows over Iranian security forces increasing pressure on dual-national prisoners.
This includes British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe being told that she will face another trial after a new charge was brought against her.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe is nearing the end of her five-year sentence for spying charges. She was visited at her family home where she is under house arrest by Revolutionary Guards officers this week in an attempt to intimidate her, The Guardian reported.
France, meanwhile, is trying to secure the release of French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelka who was arrested in 2018. She has been moved from the notorious Evin prison to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center.
Britain also set out its concern about grave human rights abuses in Iran in the letter that was handed to Baeidinejad, The Guardian reported.
British citizens and dual nationals are suffering in Iranian prisons in harsh conditions and without justification, the letter said. It argued that they have been arbitrarily detained and deserve to be released and reunited with their families.
The letter also expressed concern about Iran’s repression of human rights activists and defenders inside the country, and its harassment of media and cultural organizations.


US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

Updated 29 October 2020

US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

  • Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019
  • Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing

BOSTON: A federal judge on Thursday granted a last-minute request to stop the US government from turning over to Japan two Massachusetts men to face charges that they helped smuggle former Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of the country while he was awaiting trial on financial crimes.
US District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston granted a request by lawyers for US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to delay the transfer shortly before the two men were scheduled to be placed on a flight to Japan.
Their lawyers sought the delay after the State Department approved handing over the men, who in September lost a court challenge to their potential extradition. They were arrested in May at the request of Japanese authorities.
Taylors' lawyers and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching Lebanon, his childhood home, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
The State Department notified the Taylors' lawyers of its decision on Wednesday.
US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, a Republican who has taken interest in the case, wrote on Twitter that he was "outraged" by the State Department's decision to extradite the two men. "This former Special Forces member and his son will not be treated fairly," he said.