Exclusive: Daughter of imprisoned Morad Tahbaz delivers card to Foreign Office on fifth Father’s Day apart
“We think about my father every day. He’s the first person we think of in the morning and the last person we think of at night before we go to bed.”
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The daughter of a British-US national detained in Iran delivered a card and gift to the Foreign Office on Thursday morning to mark the fifth Father’s Day without her dad.
Mr Tahbaz’s family were led to believe that he would be released along with fellow UK nationals Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori who were brought home in March.
However after being let out on furlough for just two days, he was sent back to Evin prison where he currently remains.
“We’re still being told by the Foreign Office that they are working on things at the highest levels but it’s now been 1,618 days that he’s been detained,” Roxanne told LondonWorld outside the Foreign Office.
“It’s been three months since Nazanin and Anoosheh have returned home and my father is still sitting in prison.
“We’re still waiting and hoping that the foreign office will help us secure his release.”
Mr Tahbaz was jailed along with seven other conservationists - in January 2018 and a year later he was given a 10-year prison sentence.
He suffers from a number of serious health conditions, including a history of cancer, and has not had access to adequate medical care in prison.
Mr Tahbaz’s wife, Vida, has also been placed under a travel ban by the Iranian authorities.
Roxanne delivered a Father’s Day card and present to the Foreign Office with a request that UK officials arrange for them to be taken to her imprisoned father.
“It’s our fifth Father’s Day apart and we thought at the very least since they haven’t been able to bring him out on furlough that they could try and get him a card and a gift from us so he knows that we’re working tirelessly to bring him home to us,” she said.
Talking about her siblings, she said: “We think about my father every day.
“He’s the first person we think of in the morning and the last person we think of at night before we go to bed and that we can’t wait to see him because it’s been way too long to be apart.”
Before Nazanin and Anoosheh’s release, the Tahbaz family had kept a low profile with the media but since March they have gone public.
“I think the media attention is giving him a re-emergence of hope knowing that we’re now in the public and we’re doing everything we can,” said Roxanne.
“There’s no stone left unturned and we’ll keep fighting for him and we won’t give up until we get him back.”
Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy said: “It is totally unacceptable that Morad Tahbaz remains languishing in Iranian prison after the FCDO made assurances that he would be released.
“Ministers must not look away and do everything possible to get him home.”
An FCDO spokesperson said: “Iran has failed to honour their commitment to releasing Morad from prison on indefinite furlough.
“Continuing his horrendous ordeal sends a clear message to the international community that Iran does not honour its commitments.
“We continue to urge the Iranian authorities, at every opportunity, to release him immediately.”
LondonWorld has contacted Roxanne’s MP Felicity Buchan for comment.