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Columbian Detainees

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations her Department has made to the Colombian government on the detention of Samuel Morales and Raquel Castro. (118503)

Our Embassy in Bogota has regularly asked the Colombian Government for information on the legal case against Samuel Morales and Raquel Castro since they were first arrested in 2004. We have impressed on the Colombian authorities that both must be afforded their full human rights while in detention. On 9 November 2006, they were found guilty of “rebellion” by the criminal judiciary circuit of Saravena and sentenced to six years imprisonment and fined approximately £10,000. The long period of time between the trial and sentencing was due to the large quantity of cases currently overloading the Colombian judicial system.

Human rights are at the heart of our policy. We keep the human rights situation in Colombia under constant review, and regularly raise specific cases with the Government of Colombia.