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Human Rights: Annual Report

Volume 589: debated on Thursday 30 April 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:In which countries British diplomatic missions have tried to send officials to visit political prisoners, or to attend allegedly political trials, since 1 May 1997; what criteria are applied in making decisions on these matters; and whether they will clarify their policy in the forthcoming annual report of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on human rights. [HL1571]

Decisions to attend trials or, where practicable, have contact with prisoners are made case by case, taking into account the interests of the individual concerned and whether attendance at a trial might lend it unwarranted credibility. We keep no central record of such visits. The first published annual human rights report was published on 21 April. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House of Lords.