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Guantanamo Bay

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the High Court's statement on whether the situation of detainees in Camp X-Ray complies with fundamental principles recognised by international law. [118624]

The issue of the detainees' rights under international law is linked, in part, to the question of their status, which depends on all the facts of the individual cases. However, whatever their status, the detainees are entitled to humane treatment and, if prosecuted, a fair trial. We have made this clear to the United States authorities. They have assured us they will treat the detainees humanely and consistently with the principles of the Geneva Conventions.We have been pressing the US to move forward with the process of determining the detainees' future and shall continue to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the US Government about their plans for the future of detainees held at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay. [118625]

Ministers and officials have regular discussions with the United States authorities about the British detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. We have been pressing the United States authorities to move forward with the process of determining the future of the British detainees. We shall continue to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what legal (a) protection and (b) status the British citizens detained in Camp X-Ray have. [118626]

The question of the legal status of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay under international law is complex and has to be considered in the light of the facts relating to each individual detainee.We believe that, whatever their status, the detainees are entitled to humane treatment, and if prosecuted, a fair trial. The United States has assured us it will treat the detainees humanely and consistently with the principles of the Geneva Conventions. We have been pressing the US to move forward with the process of determining the future of the British detainees. We shall continue to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received from the US Government on when the UK citizens held at Guantanamo Bay will be (a) charged and (b) released. [119768]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer that my ministerial colleague, my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. O'Brien) gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Mrs. Lawrence) on 17 June 2003, Official Report, column 142W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the US Government about expediting the process of determining what is to happen to the UK citizens held at Guantanamo Bay. [119769]

We remain in regular contact with the United States, at both ministerial and official level, about the situation of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. We have been pressing the US to move forward with the process of determining the future of the British detainees and shall continue to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the US Administration on access by British officials to UK citizens detained at Guantanamo Bay. [119903]

We remain in regular contact with the United States, at both ministerial and official level, about the situation of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. British officials have visited the British nationals on five occasions, most recently in April 2003. We were the first country to visit its nationals in Guantanamo Bay. The United States has assured us that it will treat the detainees humanely and consistently with the principles of the Geneva Convention.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British juveniles are being detained in Guantanamo Bay. [118484]

There are no British juveniles detained at Guantanamo Bay. All the British detainees are over the age of 18.