Did you know that the British Government doesn’t have a legal obligation to protect its citizens abroad? We didn’t either, until we had our loved ones unjustly stripped of their freedom, and we found out there were no guarantees our Government would help.
As a British citizen, you or your loved one could be away on a holiday, studying, on a business trip, simply visiting friends and family, or even living a happy life of retirement. Suddenly, your life could take a 180 degree turn, your freedom taken away and your human rights violated – just because. Meanwhile, there is no law to make sure that your Government will protect you. They could instead decide to stand by because for example, they don’t want to upset the country where you are being detained.
Right now this is reality for more than 2,000 British citizens, like Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Jagtar Singh Johal, who are currently detained abroad. Over 1,000 of them are being held without a trial. Many have been unfairly convicted; many have been tortured or kept in solitary confinement; many have been deprived of their fundamental human rights – with no access to lawyers, medical care or support from a British embassy.
We are the British Rights Abroad Group (BRAG), a coalition of families of people from across the UK who are currently being unfairly held overseas or who have recently been released.
Our families have had to discover the Government’s lack of commitment to its citizens the hard way. When our family members were unfairly imprisoned the British government stood (and in some cases continues to stand) passively by, until we started speaking out and using public pressure to make them take action.
In some countries, like Germany, there are laws that ensure the Government does everything it can to protect their citizens in cases like ours. A law like this could have been a life saver for our loved ones.
So, we are asking Britain’s new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to lead an initiative in Parliament to make it a law for the British Government and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) – to defend and protect the human rights of Britons abroad. We want to make sure that you and your loved ones won’t have to live what we have been forced to endure.
Please, sign and share this petition to demand that your government does more than what it “can” do and starts doing what it “must” do for your rights to be protected – regardless of who you are or where you are.
Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and father of Gabriella Ratcliffe
Daniela Tejada-Venegas, wife of Matthew Hedges
Yemisrach Hailemariam, wife of Andargachew (Andy) Tsege
Gurpreet Singh Johal, brother of Jagtar (Jaggi) Singh Johal
Yvonne Irving, wife of Billy Irving
Founders of British Rights Abroad Group (BRAG)
Follow us on Twitter @UKRightsAbroad
#BRAG #BritishRightsAbroadGroup #BritishRightsAbroad
*If you or a loved one have been affected by lacking or inappropriate consular assistance by the British Government and would like to join our campaign, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org