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Diplomatic Relations

Volume 461: debated on Monday 18 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which nations have been in breach of the Vienna Convention in their dealings with UK citizens since 1 May 1997; and if she will make a statement. (143044)

Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, states are under an obligation, when requested to do so by a foreign national arrested or detained, to notify their consular representatives and that consular representatives shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending state and to have access to them.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not keep a central record of those states which may have breached this obligation. But we take very seriously any complaint that signatories to the Convention have not fulfilled this obligation, and we will continue to make representations with host Governments on a case by case basis. We also work with host Governments to promote greater awareness of their obligation with regard to British nationals among their law enforcement authorities, for example poster campaigns where posters are displayed in local police stations.