Tag Archives: nazanin zaghari-ratcliffe

Christine Jardine introduces Bill to give British citizens right to Consular assistance

Back in November, there was not a dry eye in the house when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband Richard Ratcliffe spoke to Scottish Lib Dem Conference.

From our piece at the time:

One of the most moving sessions was an interview, hosted by Christine Jardine, with Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe and Richard Ratcliffe. Christine said she still has the blue flower Richard gave her when she went to visit him outside the Iranian Embassy when he was on hunger strike during Nazanin’s six year imprisonment in Iran.

Nazanin and Richard want British citizens to have a right to consular protection after the Foreign Office was so slow to help her. At the moment, the commitment is dependent on ministerial whim, and, if ministers are reshuffled, you have to build the relationship up all over again.

Next week, Parliament will debate a Bill tabled by Lib Dem MP Christine designed to give British citizens abroad a right to consular assistance when their human rights are under threat.

Yesterday’s Sunday Post had a feature on the Bill. Christine told the paper:

We assume that if something happens, someone will speak to the Foreign Office and you’re guaranteed assistance – but you’re not.

I think it’s something most of us would take for granted that we already have.

After Richard and I spoke about it, I thought about the number of cases where people have found themselves in that situation over the years.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Scottish Conference: Nazanin, new faces and the rise of the mini motion

Scottish Lib Dem Autumn Conference in Edinburgh yesterday was an absolute blast and showed the party at its best. I love going to Conference and catching up with old friends, but this time there were so many new people to get to know as well.

One of them, Lauren Buchanan-Quigley from Dunfermline, criticised the UK Government for trying to force disabled people back into work without ensuring that workplaces were accessible. She talked also about the scandal of people with assistance dogs being denied access to hospitals.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have led the way on pressing the Scottish Government to do more to help Councils deal with the problems associated with Reinforced Autoclaved Aereated Concrete. Conference passed a motion, proposed by West Lothian’s Lib Dem Councillor  Sally Pattle, calling on the Government to provide funding to local authorities to deal with this and to compensate those, like West Lothian, who have already spent millions on it.

The Leader

Alex Cole-Hamilton was confident of Lib Dem gains come the election in places like Mid Dunbartonshire where Susan Murray hopes to take the seat once held by Jo Swinson and the new version of Charles Kennedy’s old seat where Angus MacDonald is  in a very good position.

His leader’s speech had two big new ideas – using the Barnett Consequentials from our trebling of the Digital Services Tax, paid by social media companies, to pay for better mental health support for young people, and a Clean Water Act to protect our waterways from pollution.

And I know many people reading this will be delighted by what he had to say on Europe:

Conference the European project represents the most important plan for peace in the whole of human history. It ended centuries of war.

And while, by slim majority, the citizens of these islands chose to turn their backs on that, we, the Liberal Democrats, will never turn away from it.

We will never let go of the inescapable reality that our country was simply better off as a full member of the European Union.

The Tories have set fire to all the goodwill and understanding that existed with our European neighbours. They have made our road back to Europe all the longer, all the harder.

But it is a road we have already started out upon.

Conference, be in no doubt of our commitment to that aim. Realistic, pragmatic, remorseless.

We are already building bridges, re-establishing connections amid the seeds of common understanding in the British people of the hideous calamity of Brexit.

Mark my words, it may not be this coming General Election, but one day an election will come where a chance to reclaim our European membership is on the ballot paper. We will be at the heart of that.

My commitment to you is this. I have spent the vast majority of my life a citizen of both the United Kingdom and of the European Union. It is my intention to leave this life a citizen of both as well.

I reckon the sky would not fall in if Ed said something like that.

Alex was introduced on to the stage by Gloria Adebo, our brilliant candidate in the recent Rutherglen and Hamilton South by-election.

Nazanin and Richard

One of the most moving sessions was an interview, hosted by Christine Jardine, with Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe and Richard Ratcliffe. Christine said she still has the blue flower Richard gave her when she went to visit him outside the Iranian Embassy when he was on hunger strike during Nazanin’s six year imprisonment in Iran.

Nazanin and Richard want British citizens to have a right to consular protection after the Foreign Office was so slow to help her. At the moment, the commitment is dependent on ministerial whim, and, if ministers are reshuffled, you have to build the relationship up all over again.

The Guardian has reported on Nazanin’s comments about how difficult it was for her to readjust to freedom and of her worries for her family and friends back in Iran.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Naomi Long is on the BBC’s 100 Women list for 2022


Alliance party leader, Naomi Long, has been named as one of the BBC’s 100 Women list for 2022.

The list “celebrates the achievements of women internationally, from grassroots volunteers to global leaders”. It includes women from a wide variety of backgrounds including sports, culture, human rights activism, politics, sports, arts etc. It is accompanied by a series of documentaries and intervews across the BBC internationally.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

16 March 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from Iran: At a dark time, this is joyful news
  • Jane Dodds: Aberpergwm Coal Mine Expansion Must be Stopped

Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from Iran: At a dark time, this is joyful news

Responding to the news that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman detained in Iran has now been released and is on her way back to the UK, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

At a dark time, this is joyful news for us all to celebrate. Members of the public, NGOs, Parliamentarians and, of course, Nazanin and Anoosheh’s families have campaigned tirelessly for their release – it now looks like they are finally coming home.

But it should not have taken years to reach this day – nearly six years in the case of Nazanin. We should never have been in the situation where UK nationals are being used as political bargaining chips. The UK Government has questions to answer for whether their actions, including those of the current Prime Minister, have prolonged this ordeal. I hope the Foreign Secretary will commit to an independent inquiry.

I’m sure many tears are set to be cried in the next twenty-four hours. But for once I hope they are tears of joy.

Jane Dodds: Aberpergwm Coal Mine Expansion Must be Stopped

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their opposition to the expansion of Aberpergwm Coal Mine in Neath Port Talbot Council. Addressing a protest in front of the Senedd Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds stated that if we are to stand any hope of tackling climate change before it’s too late, the coal must be left in the ground.

The protest in front of the Senedd in Cardiff saw multiple Welsh climate groups attend.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Layla speaks out on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe decision


Embed from Getty Images

The BBC reports:

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to a further year in prison and a one-year travel ban after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime in Iran.

Her lawyer said she was accused of taking part in a protest in London 12 years ago and speaking to the BBC Persian service.

The prime minister said the UK would “redouble” efforts to free her.

The British-Iranian charity worker was first jailed in Tehran in 2016.

She has always denied the spying charges levelled against her.

Confirming the latest sentence, her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said the court’s decision was a bad sign and “clearly a negotiating tactic” by the Iranian authorities – who are in the middle of discussions over the country’s nuclear activities.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

29 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Boris Johnson admits no deal still on the table
  • Chuka Umunna: Boris Johnson continues to let down Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
  • Statement on Lib Dem campaign following London Bridge attack
  • Lib Dems are the only party that can stop the Conservatives

Boris Johnson admits no deal still on the table

Responding to this morning’s joint press conference with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart, in which Johnson admitted that no deal preparations will continue, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

Seeing Johnson, Stuart and Gove back on stage together will give people flashbacks to the lies of the 2016 Vote Leave campaign. But, after

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 18 Comments

8 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

Govt decision on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe a step in the right direction

Responding to news that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been offered diplomatic protection, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Jo Swinson said:

This is a promising step in the right direction.

I welcome this action by the Government, which contrasts the reckless incompetence displayed by the previous Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s plight should give us all pause for thought. We must all do what we can to bring her home as soon as possible.

Moran: Fox wastes £2.6m on another vanity project

A Parliamentary Question from Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has revealed that …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Jenny Barnes
    It's clear that the human population is in overshoot. Well over the carrying capacity of the Earth. However, there is some goodish news. Fertility rates are...
  • expats
    I went onto the Daily Express website (reckoning that most support for Sunak's 'National Service' would be from a readership that are right wing and JUST too yo...
  • Peter Hirst
    Scandals are part of our life but we can minimise their effect. One way is to detect them earlier through better transparency and accountability. We have endure...
  • Jack Nicholls
    Thank you Yusuf 😊...
  • Peter Hirst
    The elephant in the room to your blog is inequality. Many of the policies you outline reflect the disastrous levels of inequality that corrupt our society. Many...