Free Nazanin: Richard and other families launch petition demanding better protection for Brits detained abroad

Former political prisoner Andy Tsege and wife Yemi at a book signing at the Ethiopian Embassy in Kni

Former political prisoner Andy Tsege and wife Yemi at a book signing at the Ethiopian Embassy in Knightsbridge. Picture: Daren Nair - Credit: Archant

Richard Ratcliffe is among a group of families to have begun a campaign for stronger laws protecting British citizens detained abroad.

Along with Yemi Hailemariam - wife of Holloway man Andy Tsege who was imprisoned in Ethiopia for four years - and three other families caught up in similar situations, he has founded a new British Rights Abroad Group (BRAG) group and begun a petition demanding stronger protections from the Foreign Office.

In launching the petition, the group released a statement and said: "Our families have had to discover the government's lack of commitment to its citizens the hard way.

"When our family members were unfairly imprisoned the British government stood (and in some cases continues to stand) passively by, until we started speaking out and using public pressure to make them take action."

Richard Ratcliffe has previously told this newspaper: "

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Nazanin, who was returned to prison last week after a "traumatising" stint under armed guard and chained to a bed in a psychiatric unit, has now been in jail in Iran for more than 1,200 days.

The group includes Daniela Tejada-Venegas whose husband Matthew Hedges was imprisoned in the UAE, Gupreet Singh Johal whose brother Jagtar is in jail in India and Yvonne Irving, whose husband Billy was one of the Chennai six sailors jailed in India.

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All of the detainees have strenuously challenged the basis for their imprisonment.

Find the petition here.

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