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Private Session: The FCDO’s approach to state level hostage situations

19 January 2023

Foreign Affairs Committee holds confidential meeting with former detainees and family members.

This week the Foreign Affairs Committee held a private meeting with victims of state hostage taking and their family members.

Chair's comments

Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Alicia Kearns MP, said:

“I would like to extend the Foreign Affairs Committee’s gratitude to all of those in attendance at this private meeting.

Your contributions are not only invaluable to our inquiry but extremely moving, demonstrating the devastating and wide-ranging impact of the abhorrent practice of state hostage taking.

The stories we heard provided unique insight into the complexities of accessing consular support. One of FCDO’s key responsibilities is to protect and support its citizens abroad and this meeting will help the Committee hold the FCDO to account and assess the delivery of its consular services.

As state hostage taking is increasingly used as a tool to exert power and inflict pain by authoritarian regimes, it is vital that we learn lessons from the past.

While the contents of our session will remain private, I hope that through our work as a Committee we can make your voices heard.”

Attendees included:

  • Anoosheh Ashoori
  • Matthew Hedges
  • Sherry Izadi
  • Anaise Kanimba
  • Carine Kanimba
  • Satar Rahmani
  • Richard Ratcliffe
  • Gupreet Singh Johal
  • Hugo Tejada
  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

The charity Hostage International was also in attendance to offer independent emotional support for those attending.

This session is part of the Foreign Affairs Committee’s ongoing inquiry into the FCDO’s approach to state level hostage taking.

Further information

Image: AdobeStock