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Death Penalty: United Arab Emirates

Volume 624: debated on Tuesday 28 March 2017

12. When he last discussed the use of the death penalty with his counterpart in the UAE; and if he will make a statement. (909519)

The UK firmly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances. We have made that clear to all countries that still have it in place, including the United Arab Emirates.

Jennifer Dalquez is an overseas domestic worker working in the Emirates to provide for her two children in the Philippines. In a struggle with her employer, who was trying to rape her, she killed him, and she now faces either execution or a fine of 100 camels’ value, over $60,000, which she has no prospect of paying. What can the Minister do to ensure that this barbaric justice system comes into the 21st century and respects the human rights of people, especially overseas domestic workers?

I will certainly look into that consular case and get back to the right hon. Lady. Many countries in the Gulf and across the wider middle east are advancing their justice systems, but many of them have existed as independent centralised countries for less than 50 or 60 years. That is not an excuse for continuing to have outdated practices in the 21st century, but I will do my best to provide her with an update.