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Iraq

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken in Iraq to ensure that (a) individuals are subject to justice before the law and (b) a programme for justice has been implemented that incorporates a method of partnership, such as mixed tribunals. [118972]

The Coalition Forces continue to maintain basic law and order and, accordingly, continue to arrest and detain individuals suspected of criminal activity.Judges, police and prosecutors are being called back to work and it is expected that local courts will take on increasing numbers of cases in the coming weeks.The Coalition Provisional Authority is undertaking an assessment of the capacity and needs of the Iraqi justice sector, through analysis of the situation on the ground and listening to the wishes of the Iraqi people. The results and recommendations of this exercise will result in key capacity building measures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken to ensure that (a) no Iraqi civilians are expelled from Iraq without tribunal and (b) no Iraqi citizen in exile is forcibly returned to Iraq from the UK. [118974]

International law prohibits the expulsion of Iraqi nationals from Iraq except in limited circumstances for security or imperative military reasons. There are no plans to expel Iraqi nationals from Iraq and, in any event, the UK will continue to act in accordance with its international legal obligations.The UK and other EU member states are working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to establish an international framework for safe and managed returns to Iraq. We support the UNHCR's aim to put in place a voluntary repatriation programme for Iraqis as soon as possible. We are not currently enforcing the return of failed Iraqi asylum seekers, although we will review this when we consider it appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken to ensure that Iraqis charged with human rights violations under the Geneva Convention are (a) given legal representation, (b) protected from coercion, torture and ill treatment and (c) have the legal right to appeal against their detention. [118980]

Individuals who are detained by Coalition Forces will be treated in accordance with our international legal obligations.The Coalition Provisional Authority is currently undertaking an assessment of the capacity and needs of the Iraqi justice sector. The recommendations of this exercise will result in key capacity building measures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he has taken to ensure the implementation of UN Resolution 57/232 to deploy human rights monitors in Iraq. [118981]

The fall of Saddam Hussein's regime brought to an end a long period of violations of the Iraqi people's human rights. As requested in UN Security Council Resolution 1483, the UN Secretary-General has appointed a Special Representative whose responsibilities include promoting the protection of human rights.The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) is taking this forward and has requested an initial US$1.5 million for the provision of Human Rights Officers. The UK has agreed to allocate £400,000 (US$650,000) towards the UNHCR's request. Our allocation will fund sixty percent of the immediate start-up costs of deploying Human Rights Officers and supporting their work.