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Repatriation

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners have been deported to (a) Libya, (b) Lebanon, (c) Jordan and (d) Algeria since the Repatriation Agreement with each country was signed; (154301)

(2) what monitoring of Libyan prisoners has taken place following their repatriation under the Repatriation Agreement;

(3) what monitoring of Lebanese prisoners has taken place following their repatriation under the Repatriation Agreement;

(4) what monitoring of Jordanian prisoners has taken place following their repatriation under the Repatriation Agreement;

(5) what monitoring of Algerian prisoners has taken place following their repatriation under the Repatriation Agreement.

The repatriation arrangements to which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, referred in his statement to the House on 25 July are the memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on deportation which were signed with Jordan, Libya, and Lebanon in 2005, and the separate arrangements we have agreed with Algeria. Copies of the MoUs, and of the exchange of letters between the previous Prime Minister and the President of Algeria, are in the Library.

The terms of the MoUs signed with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon provide for the independent monitoring of assurances. Such monitoring has however not yet been needed as the Jordanian and Libyan individuals we wish to deport from the United Kingdom on national security grounds under the MoUs are still within the process of appealing against our decisions.

Since July 2005, eight men have been deported to Algeria on grounds of national security. There are no formal arrangements for post-deportation monitoring. However, the eight individuals concerned were given details of how to contact the embassy in Algiers, and were asked if they wished to provide details of next of kin who could be contacted by the embassy. Two chose to take up this offer, a third merely wanted us to let his relatives know his arrival details.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether the provisions of the UN Convention on Torture are included in the Repatriation Agreements being concluded by the UK with other countries; (154298)

(2) which countries the Government are in negotiations with about a Repatriation Agreement;

(3) what conditions are placed by the UK on a country before a repatriation agreement can be signed.

The agreements referred to are the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on deportation with assurances (DWA) agreed with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon in 2005, and the separate arrangements under which we are able to obtain assurances in respect of people we are seeking to deport to Algeria.

These questions seek information about the numbers of prisoners deported under the arrangements and what monitoring has taken place.

The ongoing appeals process means we have not yet deported anyone under the MoUs with Jordan and Libya, and we have not yet found it necessary to seek assurances under the MoU with Lebanon. Although monitoring arrangements are in place for all three countries, to date, no actual monitoring has occurred.

Since July 2005, eight men have been deported to Algeria on grounds of national security. (A further individual who held dual Algerian and French nationality was deported to France on national security grounds). The arrangements with Algeria do not provide for formal monitoring following deportation. The deportees are given details of how they can contact the British embassy in Algiers, and are also asked if they wish to provide the details of next-of-kin who can serve as a contact point. Two of the eight opted to maintain contact with the embassy, a further individual merely asked for his relatives to be informed of his flight details.

All the men deported to Algeria were detained and questioned following their return, as provided for under Algerian law. Six were subsequently released; two are still detained in custody and are now facing criminal charges.

The terms of the draft answer have been cleared with LAB, OSCT and the FCO's Counter-Terrorism Policy Department.