France, Germany and the UK are summoning Iranian ambassadors in a coordinated diplomatic protest against Iran’s detention of dual nationals and its treatment of political prisoners.
Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad was on Tuesday summoned by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to meet with senior officials, and the Iranian ambassadors in Paris and Berlin are also being called in this week.
A letter handed to Baeidinejad and seen by the Guardian says that Iran’s policy of arbitrary detention is undermining its global standing.
It is the first coordinated move by the three countries — known collectively as the E3 — on Iranian human rights abuses and comes amid growing concern that Iranian security forces have decided to step up pressure on detained dual nationals, including by the laying of a second set of charges against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian dual national jailed in 2016.
Officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps visited her parents’ home this week, where she is living under house arrest, in what her family saw as an attempt to intimidate her.
Within Iran, there has been an outcry over the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari, who was charged with killing a security guard during protests in 2018.
His execution led to protests from members of the Iranian public, who warned that his death would not intimidate the regime’s critics.
One of Iran’s most famous political prisoners, Nasrin Sotoudeh, has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days, and recently spent some time in hospital due to her weakening condition.
She is a lawyer and has defended the right of women not to wear a hijab.
France is seeking the release of Fariba Adelkah, a French-Iranian academic arrested in 2018.
Adelkah has just been transferred from Evin Prison to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence detention center.
Baeidinejad is understood to have been given a letter setting out Britain’s concern about grave human rights abuses in Iran.
The letter claims British citizens, including dual nationals, have been arbitrarily detained and deserve to be reunited with their families.
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that he has no say over the release of prisoners, unless it is part of talks over prisoner swaps.
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