Annahita Moradi is assisting the legal team in the matter of Anoosheh Ashoori, a British-Iranian dual national arbitrarily detained in Iran.

14 Dec 2020

Legal team for Mr Anoosheh Ashoori calls on the UK Government to take urgent and immediate steps to secure his furlough from Iranian prison in light of reports of COVID-19 outbreak in prison

The legal team representing British-Iranian national, Mr Anoosheh Ashoori and his family, are extremely concerned by reports from protected sources of the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the Iranian prison where Mr Ashoori is currently arbitrarily detained. Information received by the legal team indicates that the virus has been detected in close proximity to Mr Ashoori’s cell, and Mr Ashoori’s cellmate, a 74-year old dual national, now has a very high temperature and excruciating body aches.

The presence of the virus in close proximity to Mr Ashoori, and the possibility that his cellmate has contracted the virus, poses an imminent threat to Mr Ashoori’s life considering that he is 66 years old and vulnerable to the severe symptoms of the virus. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been informed of this situation.

The legal team calls on the UK Government to take urgent steps to protect Mr Ashoori’s life and right to health by securing his immediate furlough from prison. Mr Ashoori has been arbitrarily detained for over three years and subjected to gross violations to his fundamental fair trial and due process rights, as well as his right against torture. The conditions of his detention have breached international minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners, and reports of the virus within close proximity of Mr Ashoori now risks violating his right to health and life if immediate steps are not taken.

While the immediate release of Mr Ashoori from prison and his return to his family in the UK remains as the foremost priority, Mr Ashoori’s furlough or supervised release must be urgently secured as a safeguard to his health and well-being while further steps for his release are taken. Such action is in line with the position of the UN and human rights organisations which have urged States to ‘take all necessary steps to protect people in prisons [and] jails’ and ‘consider supervised release and other non- custodial alternatives for detained individuals who are at high risk of serious effects from Covid-19.’

The legal team is led by Nigel Edwards QC and Haydee Dijkstal of 33 Bedford Row and is assisted by Annahita Moradi of One Pump Court.

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