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Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010


Thursday 21 January 2010


Petition presented to the House but not read on the Floor

Badman Report (Totnes)

The Petition of persons resident in the Totnes parliamentary constituency and others,

Declares that they are concerned about the recommendations of the Badman Report, which suggests closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right of access to people’s homes for local authority officials; further declares that the Petitioners believe the recommendations are based on a review that was extremely rushed, failed to give due consideration to the evidence, failed to ensure that the data it collected were sufficiently robust, and failed to take proper account of the existing legislative framework.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families either not to bring forward, or to withdraw, proposed legislative measures providing for tighter registration and monitoring of children educated at home in the absence of a thorough independent inquiry into the condition and future of elective home education in England; but instead to take the steps necessary to ensure that the existing Elective Home Education Guidelines for Local Authorities are properly implemented, learning from current best practice, in all local authorities in England.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Anthony Steen .]



Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dr Ghassemlou

The Petition of member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the UK and others,

Declares that 20 years after their deaths the case of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, the General-Secretary of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Abdullah Ghaderi-Azar and Fadhil Rassoul has never been resolved, notes that they travelled to Vienna, on 13 July 1989 to negotiate a peaceful solution and obtain political rights for the Kurdish nation, with the appointed Iranian representatives, but that all three were killed during the meeting

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to encourage the EU to press the Government of Austria to allow an independent judicial enquiry into these deaths and to secure a just and true resolution to this case.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Bob Spink, Official Report, 15 December 2009; Vol. 502, c. 836 .]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:

We share the Petitioner’s concern over the deaths of Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, Abdullah Ghaderi-Azar and Fadhil Rassoul in Vienna in 1989. We understand that, following an investigation by the Austrian authorities, arrest warrants were issued for three suspects in July 1989. Unfortunately no arrests have been made, but the case remains open and the warrants are still valid.

We hope that those responsible will be brought to justice and that the families and friends of the victims will be able to gain a resolution to this long standing issue.