For over a decade, British citizens have publicly complained that they have felt “abandoned” by their country, that they were offered no assistance even where serious violations have been reported. Citizens who have been famously arrested like Billy Barclay, Jamie Harron, Laleh Shahravesh, Billy Hood and Albert Douglas have criticised the FCDO for clearly caring more about their own diplomatic relations and dinner parties than about citizens.
Radha Stirling, an expert witness, founded IPEX Reform to address the widespread and multilayered problems with the current framework of the extradition process. “The British government has the opportunity to protect nationals from further abuse simply by notifying them of Interpol warrants from emerging authoritarian nations”
“Conor Howard, Brian Glendinning, Alan Stevenson, Robert Urwin and Steven Williams are just a handful of cases we have published. All of these cases resulted in the unlawful and lengthy detention of British nationals abroad. None of them should ever have been able to be listed on Interpol and the Interpol warrants were later deleted. Alan’s detention in Prague was ruled a violation of his human rights and Robert spent over a year in prison. It’s outrageous”.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) with its 14,000 staff is tasked with promoting British interests abroad but the government department’s goals are often conflicting in nature, leaving diplomats in confusion over priorities, placing British citizens and interests across the board at risk.
However, for over a decade, British citizens have publicly complained that they have felt “abandoned” by their country, that they were offered no assistance even where serious violations have been reported. Citizens who have been famously arrested like Billy Barclay, Jamie Harron, Laleh Shahravesh, Billy Hood and Albert Douglas have criticised the FCDO for clearly caring more about their own diplomatic relations and dinner parties than about citizens.
Hannah Bardell, MP of the Scottish National Party took up the long overdue task of challenging the Foreign Office to protect and safeguard British citizens against human rights violations, wrongful arrests, human rights violations and torture in the UAE and Gulf region.
A backbench business debate was scheduled for Thursday the 9th of December where the Livingstone MP argued “that travel awareness warnings are not apparent or informative enough and need to be improved; and that the processes at the FCDO ought to be improved and standardised”.
“We have worked with the US, Australia, Canada and Malaysia to diplomatically help their citizens home but the UK, despite their strong alliance with the UAE, has even tried to sabotage their own citizen’s chances of release and have certainly lacked any kind of initiative to stop these abuses”, added Stirling. “The UAE was never held to account for the death of Lee Bradley Brown in police custody. “
Albert Douglas, a British grandfather, was beaten by prison guards and is currently scheduled for multiple surgeries to repair his broken bones. The British government has still done nothing to bring Albert home and his family have made multiple complaints to the FCDO for ‘covering up for the Dubai authorities’.
Matthew Hedges is still seeking justice for his own torture and multiple detainees have taken legal action in the English courts for their own torture in custody.
As staunch advocates for the responsible and ethical use of Interpol's tools, our institution actively engages in advocating for the deletion of abusive Red Notices and offers solutions for individuals affected by these unjust practices. Our efforts have significantly contributed to the removal of abusive Red Notices, thereby providing relief to individuals unjustly targeted by the misuse of Interpol's mechanisms.