Press Association: Gordon Brown has denounced Iran’s treatment of captured sailor Faye Turney as “inhuman”. Press Association
Gordon Brown has denounced Iran’s treatment of captured sailor Faye Turney as “inhuman”.
Speaking as he flew into Afghanistan to make a surprise visit to British troops, the Chancellor said the international community was calling “unanimously” for the 15 British service personnel to be released. The eight Royal Navy sailors and seven Royal Marines were seized by Iran a week ago.
Mr Brown told reporters travelling with him: “Overnight, the UN resolution is calling definitively for their release. That’s the unanimous view of the international community. The treatment of Faye Turney is cruel, callous, inhuman and unacceptable.”
Mr Brown’s comments came as the UN Security Council expressed “grave concern” over the detention of the sailors and marines, and called for the crisis to be resolved as soon as possible.
But a statement, agreed by all 15 members after more than three hours of negotiations in New York, was seen was a blow for Britain because it fell short of “deploring” Tehran’s actions and demanding the detainees’ immediate release.
On Thursday night, the Iranian government sent a formal note to the British Embassy, although a Foreign Office spokeswoman refused to reveal its contents. She said the message was being given “serious consideration” and they would soon respond formally.
The Government responded furiously on Thursday to Iran’s release of a second letter said to have been written by captured Royal Navy rating Turney – the only woman in the party.
The hand-written note – addressed to British “representatives” and apparently signed by Leading Seaman Turney – questioned why UK troops have not been withdrawn from Iraq. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett accused Tehran of an “outrageous and cruel” attempt to use the young mother of one for propaganda purposes.
The stilted language used in the letter prompted fears that Leading Seaman Turney had written it under duress, with Mrs Beckett expressing “grave concerns” about the circumstances in which it was prepared.
Leading Seaman Turney apparently wrote that she was being well looked after, and said the Iranian people are “kind, considerate, warm, compassionate and very hospitable”.