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Syria: Human Rights

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress he has made in respect of the case of Maryam Kallis, recently arrested in Syria; and if he will make a statement. (276781)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised this case with the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem, during a telephone conversation on 8 May 2009. Consular officials in Damascus have visited Mrs. Kallis on two occasions, on 8 and 23 April 2009 and we have requested further consular access. We have asked the Syrian authorities to allow Mrs. Kallis access to legal representation and that her family are allowed to visit her. We have made clear to the Syrian authorities that we expect them either to charge or to release Mrs. Kallis as soon as possible. We continue to pursue this case repeatedly at an official level with the Syrian authorities.