Thursday, 14 July 2022
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla (Atógáil) - Topical Issue Debate (Resumed)
Gabhaim buíochas arís. As the Deputy said, this is a challenging and concerning case and I thank her for raising it. It is significant that she has raised it here in our Parliament and that is important to maintain that pressure.
The Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to closely monitor the case of Mr. Pether and his Egyptian colleague, Mr. Khalid Radwan. We understand the significant distress this case is causing from Mr. Pether's family here in Ireland. Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to remain in regular contact with Mr. Pether. I do not have with me a date as to when the issue was most recently raised with the Iraqi authorities but I will ask the Minister to revert with a response on that.
The Australian Government is continuing to provide high-level consular assistance to Mr. Pether. As the Deputy will understand, it would not be appropriate to comment on the details of the case or on the consular assistance provided. I assure her, however, that officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to remain in close contact with the relevant Australian officials and will continue to advocate for Mr. Pether and his family. We will also, as appropriate, continue to raise concerns over Mr. Pether with Iraqi authorities. It is our sincere hope that officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to follow this case closely and that a satisfactory outcome can be found in this case, above all, for the sake of Mr. Pether and his family.