CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – HOSTAGE-TAKING BY IRAN – 7 October 2019

Dr Julian Lewis: In the middle of last month, it emerged that yet another person, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated British-Australian academic, has been banged up in Iran, probably as a hostage for something as yet officially unspoken, for anything up to a year of a 10-year sentence for spying, so-called. Are there any other cases, without going into specifics, of which the Government are aware of people being held hostage in this way? Given the track record from the earliest days of the Islamic revolution in Iran of taking hostages and using them for nefarious purposes, what advice does the Foreign Office give to British dual nationals and others about the wisdom or otherwise of visiting that country?

[The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa (Dr Andrew Murrison): I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. Foreign Office advice is available on the Foreign Office website, and is updated periodically. On other cases, yes, there are number of cases with which we are dealing. I am afraid I cannot be drawn, for reasons that he will understand, either on the precise number of those cases or their identity, except insofar as they or their families wish the matter to be made public. We have to be led very much by individuals’ wishes, which is why I am being a little cautious about giving a full answer to the question that my right hon. Friend asked.]