Kamal Foroughi returns to UK, nine years after Iran spy charge

The former business consultant was released by Tehran more than a year ago, but was unable to return to his family.

Kamal Foroughi with his granddaughter [Photo courtesy of the Free Kamal Foroughi campaign]
Kamal Foroughi with his granddaughter [Photo courtesy of the Free Kamal Foroughi campaign]

Kamal Foroughi, an 80-year-old man with dual Iranian-British nationality, has returned to the United Kingdom nine years after being arrested in Iran on spying charges, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement.

Foroughi, who was working as a business consultant when he was arrested, was released from detention in Tehran in late 2018. But he was unable to return to his family in the UK as he waited for his Iranian passport to be renewed.

“I am pleased and very relieved that Kamal Foroughi has been able to return to the UK and be reunited with his family,” said Dominic Raab, the UK’s foreign secretary.

“I pay tribute to Kamal and his family, who have been through a terrible ordeal, and now have the opportunity to rebuild their life together.”

Between his arrest in 2011 and his court date nearly two years later, Foroughi was held mostly in solitary confinement. He was held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, and for several years received no family or humanitarian visitors.

Rights groups also celebrated Foroughi’s return. 

“It’s long, long overdue but this is marvellous news,” said Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s director.

“We’re delighted for Kamal and his son Kamran, who has fought a long and incredibly difficult campaign to get his father out of jail and safely back to the UK.

“Like so many other people in Iran, not least several dual-nationals, Mr Foroughi had a blatantly unfair trial and should never have been in jail at all, never mind for all those years.

“We extend our best wishes to the Foroughi family and we now hope, of course, that other Britons like Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe are similarly released from their unjust prison sentences in Iran and allowed to reunite with their families here in the UK.”

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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