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United States

Volume 456: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the US authorities about Jamil el-Banna and Bisher el-Rawi. (112491)

The Government are not in a position to provide consular assistance or diplomatic protection to foreign nationals, including those held at Guantanamo Bay. However, we discuss a wide range of detainee issues, including Guantanamo Bay, with the US Administration on a regular basis. As part of these regular exchanges we have raised humanitarian issues relating to detainees who were formerly resident in the UK, including Mr. el-Banna and Mr. al-Rawi.

Additionally, in April 2006 my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr Straw) wrote to the US Secretary of State to request exceptionally Mr. al-Rawi’s release and return from Guantanamo Bay, having considered particular fact-specific circumstances in his case. Detailed discussions between our Governments have continued ever since.