Edinburgh protest: Family of Brian Glendinning detained in Iraq protest outside Scottish Parliament

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The family of a Fife Dad who is detained in a ‘rat infested’ jailed in Iraq while awaiting extradition to Qatar are protesting in Edinburgh today (Thursday).

Dad-of-three Brian Glendinning, from Kincardine, was on his way to Qatar to start a new job with BP when he was arrested over a bank loan. The construction engineer has been detained in Iraq for almost two months over the Qatar National Bank (QNB) debt. Despite Brian making repayments to the loan and being in contact with the bank they reported him to Interpol who served a notice and stated they placed ‘trust’ in member states to act responsibly.

But after being served a red notice he has had been sentenced in absentia to two years in prison in Qatar. Brian has since spoken out about the “terrible” conditions he is in as he languishes in a “rat-infested” and overcrowded prison.

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Campaigners have warned he could be in danger after reports he’s locked up with ‘violent militants charged with terrorism’. They say they will appeal but this could take months. His family are concerned about Brian’s physical and mental health and worry he has ‘given up’. Now, six weeks after he was arrested, his family are still fighting for his release and will be protesting outside of the Scottish Parliament in the hope that it gains the attention of the Scottish Government.

Brian Glendinning with his familyBrian Glendinning with his family
Brian Glendinning with his family

The family has been getting support from MP Douglas Chapman but have had no reply from Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. Brian’s brother John said he hopes the Scottish Government will put pressure the UK Government to ask why has there been no help and why it has not responded to the letters from their local MP.

Brian’s wife Kimberly said: “When Liz Truss was Foreign Secretary, she couldn’t remember the names of British citizens detained abroad who had come to her asking to be saved from torture. It’s important James Cleverly understands his role is to support British nationals, including Scots, who are unfairly facing legal or physical abuse abroad.

“I have reached out to contacts at the bank and provided them with authorisation to represent Brian. We are preparing correspondence to QNB’s London investment arm who we hope will do everything they can to avoid being publicly hauled through the British justice system and made accountable for the consequences of using Interpol as a debt enforcement agent”.

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Interpol & extradition crisis consultant Radha Stirling said: “Interpol will delete the Notice once I have appealed but the process takes months and does not help Brian in his current predicament. QNB should never have been able to list Brian in the first place but the damage is done. It is appalling that a British citizen has been detained in Iraq and our Scottish MP, Mr Douglas Chapman has received no response to his communications to James Cleverly, our Foreign Minister.

"Cleverly should be using every diplomatic effort available with Qatari and Iraqi counterparts to end this circus, but he has not even responded to basic communication. It is no wonder that the Glendinnings and supporting Scottish MP’s are encouraging a demonstration in front of Parliament calling for action."

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