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Guantanamo Bay

Volume 688: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will seek an urgent meeting with the Government of the United States to make representations for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison and the immediate release of all detainees unless they are guaranteed an early judicial process under United States territorial jurisdiction. [HL1249]

The Government's position on the closure of Guantanamo Bay is clear. As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister has said, Guantanamo Bay should be closed. The US Government are fully aware of our position.

We welcome President Bush's public statements expressing a wish to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as soon as practicable and the US Government’s efforts to reduce numbers at the camp. However, we recognise that this is a complicated task and that there are issues, including trials of detainees under the recent Military Commissions Act, which still need to be resolved. Careful consideration needs to be given to how numbers at the camp are reduced to ensure international security is maintained and the human rights of detainees respected—including if they are to be transferred back to their countries of nationality.