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Iraq: Human Rights

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Iraqi government on reported human rights abuses in Kurdish controlled areas of northern Iraq. (270253)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq, Ann Clwyd MP, regularly raises human rights issues with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

During her most recent visits to Baghdad (1-2 March 2009) and the Kurdistan Region (20-25 March) she discussed with Iraqi and KRG Ministers and officials a range of issues including detention without charge; violence and discrimination against women; prison conditions and freedom of expression.

Our Office in Erbil also has regular contacts with KRG Ministries and human rights defenders on these issues. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London has hosted two forums on human rights in Iraq since December 2008, involving Iraqi and KRG Ministers and non-governmental activists from the UK and Iraq.