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Iraq: Detainees

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Iraqis and (b) non-Iraqis remain in British custody in Iraq; what arrangements have been made for the handover of these detainees to the Iraqi authorities; and if he will make a statement. (163412)

The UK currently holds 36 detainees at the divisional internment facility at Basra air station, all of whom are Iraqi nationals.

The UK detains individuals in Iraq for imperative reasons of security under the authority of UN Security Council Resolution 1723 (2006). It is a power we use sparingly and we take our responsibilities to our detainees seriously. Where possible, we seek to release individuals or transfer their cases to the Iraqi justice system. The UK has obtained assurances from the government of Iraq to ensure that anyone transferred from UK to Iraqi custody will be treated in accordance with basic international human rights principles.