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Simon Mann

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under what circumstances the Government have been refused consular access to Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison, Equatorial Guinea; what steps were taken by the Government in response on each occasion; and if he will make a statement. (202177)

[holding answer 30 April 2008]: Our consul from the British deputy high commission in Lagos was refused consular access to Simon Mann during his last visit to Equatorial Guinea in March. Since then the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and our posts in Nigeria, which also cover Equatorial Guinea, have been taking this issue forward with the Equatorial Guinea authorities. Simon Mann's welfare remains our primary concern.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will request his US counterpart to seek regular access to Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison, Equatorial Guinea, on behalf of the Government. (202178)

[holding answer 30 April 2008]: Our consular officials are seeking consular access to Simon Mann through the Equatorial Guinea authorities. Our deputy high commission in Lagos keeps in close touch with the US embassy in Equatorial Guinea, but our priority at present is to gain access for our own consular officials.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what provisions of international law apply to the granting by Equatorial Guinea to another country of consular access to one of its citizens held in prison. (202179)

[holding answer 30 April 2008]: Both the UK and Equatorial Guinea are party to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Article 36 provides for consular officers of one state party to communicate and have contact with its nationals in another state party to facilitate the exercise of consular functions. Article 36(l)(c) provides that

‚Äúconsular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending state who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation‚ÄĚ.