Skip to main content

Guantanamo Bay

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Pentagon regarding the proposed release of the child detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and if he will make a statement. [113570]

None of the minors concerned are British nationals. Nevertheless, the issue will form part of our regular dialogue with the US about all the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.The US has told us that all detainees are being treated humanely and consistently with the principles of the Geneva Convention.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK citizens are detained by the USA in (a) Guantanamo Bay and (b) Afghanistan; whether any of them are under 18; what legal and consular advice is available to them, whether any have been charged with offences; and if he will make a statement. [113598]

Nine British nationals are detained by the US at Guantanamo Bay, none of whom are under the age of 18. I am told there are no British nationals detained by the US in Afghanistan.As Guantanamo Bay is outside a recognised consular district, the US does not consider that we are entitled to formal consular access there. However, British officials have visited on five occasions to check on the identity and welfare of the British nationals and ask questions relating to national security. We were the first country to visit its nationals there. The United States has told us it will treat the detainees humanely and consistently with the principles of the Geneva Conventions.None of the British detainees have been charged with offences. Nor have they had access to legal representation. We have told the US that the detainees are entitled to humane treatment, and if prosecuted, a fair trial. We are pressing the US to move forward with the process of determining the detainees' future, and shall continue to do so.