33 Bedford Row Legal Team to be Involved in Government Inquiry into the Delayed Release of Former Hostages in Iran - Mr. Anoosheh Ashoori and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

In April 2022, an inquiry was established by the Foreign Affairs Committee to examine the UK Government’s response and actions on state level hostage taking, and specifically to examine the UK's efforts to secure the release of British-Iranian hostages Anoosheh Ashoori and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from unlawful detention in Iran.

The legal team, including 33 Bedford Row’s Nigel Edwards QC and Haydee Dijkstal, representing Mr Ashoori and his family worked to assist the release of Mr Ashoori in March 2022. Following Mr Ashoori’s release and the establishment of the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Inquiry, Nigel and Haydee have been further instructed to represent Mr Ashoori and his family before the Inquiry, and to advise the family in relation to their disclosure submissions and evidence.

Mr Ashoori was unlawfully detained in Iran for 5 years. He visited his elderly mother in Iran annually, and it was on his last trip there in August 2017 when he was unlawfully arrested and detained.

During his detention, the 33 Beford Row legal team acting for Mr Ashoori were instructed to bring a Request for Diplomatic Protection on behalf of Mr Ashoori.

Announcing the inquiry, Foreign Affair Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat MP said: 'Nazanin and Anoosheh's homecoming is wonderful news, but long overdue.'

After years of imprisonment in inhumane circumstances, the Inquiry will give Mr Anoosheh and Ms Zaghari Ratcliffe, and other victims of state level hostage taking, the chance to tell the government of the impact of their prolonged detention, insight into their families’ interactions with the UK Government and to raise questions as to the circumstances of their release – including reports on the £400 million debt the UK government owed to Iran.