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Cardiff: 'Stand Up in the Park' comedy event to highlight plight of UK nationals jailed in Iran

Clint Edwards, Esther Manito, Micky Overman and Daliso Chaponda headlining event show which will highlight cases of Morad Tahbaz and Mehran Raoof

‘Comedy with a conscience’ night has previously supported Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori

‘We’re calling on the UK government to intensify efforts to secure the release of Morad and Mehran’ - Tomos Owen

Cardiff’s acclaimed ‘Stand Up in the Park’ comedy event will be returning to Sophia Gardens for a fifth year on Sunday 2nd July (8pm), with leading comedians Clint Edwards, Esther Manito, Micky Overman and Daliso Chaponda headlining.

Organised by the Cardiff Amnesty group and Everyman Theatre Cardiff, this powerful “comedy with a conscience” event continues the theme of previous years in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of British nationals arbitrarily jailed in Iran.

At last year’s show, the Cardiff Amnesty group was able to share its delight at the long-overdue release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, and this year the group is renewing its campaigning for jailed British nationals Morad Tabaz and Mehran Raoof.

-Morad Tahbaz, 67, is a wildlife conservationist who has been arbitrarily jailed in Iran along with seven other conservationists for more than five years. In 2019, he was given a ten-year jail sentence after an unfair trial. He suffers from serious health conditions, including a history of cancer, and the Iranian authorities have prevented him from receiving vital medical care.

-Mehran Raoof, 66, is a labour rights activist who was arrested in October 2020 as part of a crackdown on labour activists in Iran. In 2021, a Revolutionary Court convicted Raoof and German-Iranian activist Nahid Taghavi of national security-related charges and sentenced them to ten years and eight months in prison following a grossly unfair trial. In April this year, Raoof sent a letter from Evin Prison which denounced what he called the Iranian authorities’ use of dual-nationals as “commodities”. 

Tomos Owen, Chair of Cardiff Amnesty International Group, said: 

“We are delighted to be running a fifth Stand Up in the Park event and are incredibly thankful to Everyman Theatre for giving us this platform to raise awareness of the plight of British citizens unjustly detained in Iran. 

“In the time Stand Up in the Park has been running, we’ve witnessed success with the release of Nazanin and Anoosheh, but no-one should be left behind. We’re calling on the UK government to intensify efforts to secure the release of Morad and Mehran and finally reunite them with their families.” 

Peter Harding-Roberts, Chair of the Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival, said:

“With repression around the world unabated, Everyman Theatre is very pleased to once again be partnering with Amnesty at the Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival. As Edmund Burke said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Tickets and petition

To stand up for human rights and enjoy a night of comedy, purchase tickets for £15 (£10 for students) via Everyman Theatre here. Amnesty is also urging people to add their names to a petition to reunite Morad Tahbaz with his family.

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