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Iraq

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had on oil concessions in Iraq. (303570)

The Government have regular discussions on Iraqi energy issues with the Government of Iraq and with international oil companies. These exchanges include discussion of Iraq's recent and upcoming oil licensing rounds through which the Iraqi Government are acquiring international expertise in order to increase oil production and exports.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the number of (a) death sentences imposed by the incumbent Iraqi regime and (b) people sentenced to death who were associated with the previous regime. (304023)

The administration of justice and the punishment of criminal activities in Iraq, including the imposition of the death penalty, is a matter for the elected Government of Iraq. Death sentences have been given to those found guilty of murder or terrorist crimes whether or not they are associated with Saddam Hussein's regime.

The Iraqi Human Rights Minister told UK officials recently that about 900 prisoners had been given the death sentence but it was not clear from when these sentences were imposed. The EU has reported that 117 prisoners have been executed this year.

The position of the UK and of our EU colleagues towards the use of the death penalty is well known to the Government of Iraq, and we continue to raise our opposition to it regularly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of bribery allegations relating to the private security company Blackwater in respect of the deaths of civilians in Iraq. (304056)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not received any allegations of bribery relating to Blackwater in respect of the deaths of civilians in Iraq.