The wife of a British man held without charge in Iraq for a year has urged the Government to step up its efforts to secure his release.
Ramze Shihab Ahmed, a dual Iraqi-UK national, claims to have been tortured in Iraq following his arrest on December 7 last year after travelling there in an attempt to free his detained son Omar.
His wife Rabiha al-Qassab used the anniversary of his arrest to ask Foreign Secretary William Hague to insist that her husband is either released or charged by Christmas.
The 63-year-old former teaching assistant, who lives in north-west London, said: “I can hardly believe that a whole year has gone by with my husband in jail like this. It’s disgraceful what they’re doing to him. He doesn’t even know what he’s accused of.
“An Iraqi judge recently visited my husband and assured him that the ‘confession’ that the interrogators tortured out of him will be disregarded and that they’ll re-investigate the case.
“This is better news but I want to see the Iraqis say either, ‘We’re charging him,’ or, much more likely, ‘We’re going to release him.’
“The UK ought to be saying this as well. I appreciate the fact that William Hague has raised the case with the Iraqi authorities, but I’d really like to see more being done now that a year has passed.”
The whereabouts of Mr Shihab Ahmed, 68, were unknown until March when he was able to make a short phone call to his wife in London.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are very concerned about the allegations of mistreatment and raised them with the Iraqi authorities at a senior level as soon as we were aware of them. We continue to raise this issue with them.
“The British Embassy in Baghdad has repeatedly made clear to the Iraqi authorities how seriously we take such allegations, and have requested that they be investigated.”