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Afghanistan: Detainees

Volume 494: debated on Monday 22 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department was first notified by the Governor of Bermuda of the Bermudan Government's discussions with the US on the transfer of four former detainees from Guantánamo Bay; and if he will make a statement. (280865)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office received notification from the Governor of Bermuda on 11 June 2009 that the Government of Bermuda had been in discussion with the US on the transfer of four former detainees from Guantanamo Bay. The Government of Bermuda acted outside their competence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government of Bermuda notified his Department that it had agreed to accept the transfer of four former detainees from Guantánamo Bay before the former detainees arrived in Bermuda on 12 June 2009; and if he will make a statement. (280867)

The four former detainees arrived in Bermuda early on 11 June 2009. The Government of Bermuda notified the Governor a few hours earlier that some Muslim Uighur refugees were on their way, without mention of the United States or Guantanamo Bay.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the security assessment of the four former detainees from Guantánamo Bay who have been transferred to Bermuda is expected to be completed; and if he will make a statement. (280868)

We are working with the Government of Bermuda and the US to ensure that the security assessment will be completed as soon as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date the Government of Bermuda began discussions with the US administration on the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay to Bermuda. (280869)

The Government of Bermuda began discussions with the US Administration on or about 20 May 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the review of the legal basis of the Government’s relations with Bermuda following the transfer of four former detainees from Guantánamo Bay is expected to be completed; and if he will make a statement. (280880)

We are not reviewing the Bermuda constitution, but in light of the of this case we are reviewing the operation of the General Entrustment which is the agreement that delegates to the Government of Bermuda the authority to conduct external negotiations in specified areas. We expect to complete this by the end of July 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Bermudan authorities on the four people released from the US detention centre at Guantánamo and resettled in Bermuda; and what steps he plans to take on the matter. (281316)

Discussions are ongoing between the Governor, the Government of Bermuda and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the transfer of four former detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Bermuda. We are considering next steps with all interested parties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he had discussions with his US counterpart on the recent transfer of four detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Bermuda before the transfer took place. (281591)

There were no discussions between my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and his US counterpart on the transfer of four detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Bermuda before the transfer took place.