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UK: 'empty chair' protest on behalf of jailed British national Anoosheh Ashoori

Anoosheh Ashoori with his wife Sherry Izadi. The retired engineer from south London has been in jail in Iran for four years © Private

Family of British man arbitrarily jailed in Iran are requesting urgent meeting with PM


Richard Ratcliffe will attend in show of solidarity 

The family of a British man jailed in Iran will stage an “empty chair” protest opposite Downing Street on 13 August to highlight the need for Boris Johnson to meet them to discuss his plight. 

Anoosheh Ashoori, a 67-year-old retired engineer from south London, will have spent exactly four years in jail in Iran on 13 August after being arrested during a family visit to the country in 2017.

Like several other British nationals held in Iran in recent years, Ashoori was jailed on trumped-up national security-related charges after a grossly unfair trial. 

Despite assurances from officials that Ashoori’s case is a “top priority” for the UK government, his family have been unable to secure a meeting with the Prime Minister despite formally requesting one more than a year ago. 

With Ashoori’s health deteriorating after four years in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, the family have again written to No10 via their MP Janet Daby, urgently seeking a meeting - a call backed by Amnesty International, which has also formally written to the Prime Minister about the case.

More than 40,000 people have supported Amnesty’s “Free Anoosheh” campaign

Photo opportunity 

WHO: Ashoori’s wife Sherry Izadi, his daughter Elika, and his son Aryan 

WHAT: the three family members will sit in chairs next to an empty chair which will have a large “Prime Minister: why won’t you meet us?” sign

- Sherry Izadi will sit holding a large photograph of Anoosheh

-The family will be joined by Richard Ratcliffe and Amnesty CEO Sacha Deshmukh, both standing immediately behind the chairs holding large “Free Anoosheh” placards. After an opportunity for photographs of the seated group, the three family members will cross the road for further photos at the gates of Downing Street

WHERE: directly across the road from Downing Street

WHEN: 11am

The event will conclude by approximately 11:30am. 

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