Monday, 05 Dec 2022

In emotional letter from Iraqi jail, Australian Robert Pether warns his prognosis is bleak

In emotional letter from Iraqi jail, Australian Robert Pether warns his prognosis is bleak


In emotional letter from Iraqi jail, Australian Robert Pether warns his prognosis is bleak

Australian Robert Pether, jailed in Baghdad last year over a business dispute, has penned an emotional letter warning his prognosis is "bleak", his human rights are being violated, and he is facing a potential "death sentence".

In the letter to his family, released to Guardian Australia, Pether also reveals his daily torment about how he should break it to his children that he might not be coming home.

"How do you tell a little girl who loves unicorns and cats that her daddy will not be coming home? How do you tell your children that you are proud of them, but will not be sharing the accolades (and pitfalls) of their lives with them?," Pether wrote.

"And toughest of all, how do you tell your wife, who is very much the other half of you, that you will not be keeping the promise you made to grow old together?

"These are the questions that I am currently grappling with every day - from the moment I wake up and the sit on the cell floor for the first head count of the day, until the last thing at night, when I look at the photos of my family on the wall next to my bed."

Pether was arbitrarily detained in Iraq in April last year over a business dispute between his architecture firm and the Iraqi government. Pether was working on a new headquarters for Iraq's central bank, and had returned to Iraq to resolve a contract dispute at the request of the Iraqi government.

When he turned up to meet bank officials, he was arrested and imprisoned alongside his colleague Khalid Radwan, an Egyptian national.

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