New Efforts to Release Businessmen Detained in Iraq

By John Lee.

High-level diplomatic efforts have reportedly been stepped up in the hope of securing the release two foreign businessmen held in an Iraqi jail.

Australian citizen Robert Pether and his Egyptian colleague Khalid Radwan have been detained since April 2021. They have been sentenced to five years in prison and jointly fined $12 million on charges of fraud.

Their families claim they were tricked into traveling to Iraq to attempt to resolve the dispute relating to the construction of the new Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) head office in Baghdad.

Speaking to RTE, Mr Pether's wife said her husband's health was deteriorating.

Last month, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Australian engineer Robert Pether and Egyptian engineer Khalid Radwan were "arbitrarily detained on discriminatory grounds", and referred the case to the Special Rapporteur on torture.

More here and here.

(Source: RTE, The Journal)

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