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Belarus: Surveillance

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the (a) sale of covert surveillance technology by UK companies to the Belarusian security service and (b) use of such equipment by the Belarusian security service. (203959)

[holding answer 7 May 2008]: The Government are aware of reports of meetings between UK surveillance technology companies and the authorities of Belarus. The Government are not involved in these meetings and therefore have no information about their content.

All export licence applications for military and dual use goods, including surveillance equipment, are closely examined and assessed on a case-by-case basis against Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

Where licensable surveillance equipment is concerned, particular attention is given to Criterion 2 of the Consolidated Criteria - "The respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination". The Government will not issue an export licence for any military or dual use goods where there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.