Free Robert Pether, Australian held in Iraq | Pod Hostage Diplomacy
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Thursday 7th April 2022 marked the 1 year anniversary of Australian citizen Robert Pether’s wrongful imprisonment in Iraq. Robert Pether and his colleague, Khalid Radwan were both detained in Baghdad on 7 April 2021 after they went to Iraq to resolve a business dispute between the Iraqi government and their Dubai-based employer, CME Consulting. CME Consulting is an engineering firm that was hired by the Iraqi government to work on the new headquarters of the Central Bank of Iraq. The project was hit by delays and increased costs due to the COVID pandemic and a dispute arose whereby the Iraqi government demanded the return of $12 million USD paid to CME Consulting. As a result of this dispute between the Iraqi government and CME Consulting, both Robert Pether and Khalid Radwan who are employees of the company were arrested and put in prison.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has stated that their detention is arbitrary and has called for their immediate release. The UN Working Group also stated that their detention is being used to “exercise leverage in a commercial transaction, in violation of international law”. 

Robert, his wife and 3 children live in Ireland. On this episode, we have the honour of speaking to Robert’s 18 year old son, Flynn Pether. Flynn talks to us about what happened, his father’s background, the conditions he’s being held in, his health issues, unfair trial as well as how the family have been coping with this ongoing trauma. We also discuss what the Australian government, CME Consulting, journalists and the public can do to help free Robert Pether.

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