REDRESS and partners launch global video campaign to fight impunity around the world  

Coinciding with UN Human Rights Day on 10 December last year, REDRESS and partners in Perú, Libya and Nepal launched an advocacy campaign to bring attention to the prevalence of torture in these countries. The campaign aims to foment stronger alignment of local laws with international standards, in particular, the UN Convention against Torture.

The video from Advocacy Forum featured the experiences of several torture survivors from the recent armed conflict and called for the criminalisation of torture in Nepal.  

Lawyers for Justice in Libya's video highlighted the grave effect that torture is having on all of the Libyan population: it is affecting everyone, not just those who are direct victims.

The video from la Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos in Perú highlighted the fact that more than half of Peruvians live in fear of being tortured by their own authorities. The video calls for the enactment of the National Preventive Mechanism against Torture. 

Watch the videos of the campaign here

UK GOVERNMENT MUST DEMAND THAT IRAN RELEASES ALL BRITISH NATIONALS ARBITRARILY DETAINED

18 July 2017 –The UK Government must abandon its half-hearted approach to Iran and insist on the release of all British nationals arbitrary held there, including mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and grandfather Kamal Foroughi.

The UK Government is facing increasing pressure to act as members of Parliament discussed the situation of British prisoners in Iran during a Westminster Hall debate yesterday. The debate comes as the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has identified an emerging pattern involving the arrests of dual nationals in Iran.

Those detained included charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and businessman Kamal Foroughi whose families have received support from REDRESS.

Kamal Foroughi is a 77-year-old British-Iranian grandfather who has been detained in Evin prison for more than six years. He was convicted of “espionage” in an unfair trial in which no evidence has been provided in justification. His wife, children and grandchildren all live in London. He has not received a visitor in more than 2,000 days. He is at risk of blindness due to untreated cataracts and may be suffering from prostate cancer. He has been eligible for early release every day since January 2014.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 38-year-old British-Iranian mother, is also being held in Evin prison after she was arrested in April 2016 when at the Tehran airport as she was about to return to the United Kingdom from a family holiday with her young daughter. Following an unfair trial conducted in secret, Nazanin was sentenced to five years imprisonment for unspecified national security crimes. She spent seven months in solitary confinement. Her physical and mental health has severely deteriorated in prison. She is currently in a state of despair and is experiencing depressive episodes.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found both of their detentions to be arbitrary, in violation of international law, and has called for their immediate release. Six United Nations Special Rapporteurs have also called for their release, referring to their unfair secret trials as “a mockery of justice”. The European Union has also asked for Kamal Foroughi’s release.

In March 2017, 261 MPs and Peers signed a letter seeking the release of Nazanin, Kamal and a third British nationals, Roya Nobakht. In April 2017, 49 MEPs signed a letter addressed to Iran’s Head of Judiciary, Minister of Justice and the Head of Iran’s Council for human rights expressing concerns for Nazanin’s health and called on them to intervene to bring all dual nationals home immediately.

The UK Government does not currently have consular access to either Nazanin or Kamal. Although the Government has stated that it is seeking Kamal’s release on humanitarian grounds, it has yet to publicly call for Nazanin’s release.

 “The UK Government’s current approach is not working. It is time for it to step up its approach and stand up for its citizens.  Both its actions and words must make clear that the arbitrary detention and ill-treatment of British nationals will not be tolerated,” said Carla Ferstman, Director of REDRESS.

REDRESS is calling on the UK to:

For more information or for an interview, please contact Eva Sanchis, Head of Communications, on 020 7793 1777 or eva@redress.org

About REDRESS: We are an international human rights organisation which seeks justice and reparation for survivors of torture and related international crimes.

REDRESS is working on a new project to strengthen UK government support of its nationals arbitrarily detained abroad and at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

 


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