Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

Iran/UK: return of Morad Tahbaz to Evin Prison is 'terrible news'

Morad Tahbaz has already been in detention in Iran since January 2018 © Private

‘The Foreign Secretary must urgently meet with the family to outline the UK’s plans to secure Morad’s freedom’ - Sacha Deshmukh 

Commenting on news from his family that Morad Tahbaz, the UK national arbitrarily detained for nearly five years in Iran, has been taken back to Evin Prison in Tehran after a temporary furlough since July, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“This is of course terrible news for Morad and a very distressing development for his family. 


“Morad is a conservationist who should never have been jailed in the first place, and we want to see the Foreign Secretary stepping up pressure on the Iranian authorities to secure his immediate and unconditional release, and his return to the UK along with his wife Vida.


“The Foreign Secretary must urgently meet with the family to outline the UK’s plans to secure Morad’s freedom, while pushing hard for full and unfettered consular access while Morad remains in detention.”

Conservationist arbitrarily jailed

Morad Tahbaz, a US national in addition to his UK nationality and Iranian heritage, is a wildlife conservationist who was jailed - along with seven other conservationists - in January 2018. In 2019, he was given a ten-year prison sentence after an unfair trial. He suffers from a number of serious health conditions, including a history of cancer, and the Iranian authorities have prevented him from receiving important medical care. Tahbaz’s wife, Vida, has also been placed under a travel ban by the Iranian authorities.

In March this year, Tahbaz was temporarily released from Evin Prison on the same day that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were released and flown out of Iran. However, within 48 hours Tahbaz was returned to jail. He was given a temporary furlough release from jail in July but had been placed under tight movement restrictions since then.

View latest press releases