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Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will instruct HM Ambassador in Rabat to investigate the abduction and torture by Moroccan security agents on 27 August 2009 of Ms Hassawina Nguyia, a 19 year-old Sahrawi woman who had previously been prevented from travelling to London to participate in the programme, Youths talk together about Western Sahara. (292829)

Our ambassador to Morocco and his staff at the British embassy in Rabat have already sought clarification from the Moroccan Government regarding Ms Hassawina Nguyia and the other Sahrawi students due to take part in an event in Oxford in August this year.

The Government made clear to the Moroccan authorities that they regretted that the students had been prevented from travelling to the UK and that they were concerned by allegations of the disproportionate use of force.

The Moroccan Government have told us that they remain open to participating in future events organised by Talk Together and have investigated the allegations of mistreatment, which they deny. We will continue to seek further clarification from the Moroccan authorities.