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Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions and Answers (March, April 2016)

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4 years 3 months

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Questions and Answers (March, April 2016)

Q. Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Asked on: 07 March 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

United Arab Emirates: Political Prisoners

HL6773

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have raised the treatment of political prisoners with the government of the United Arab Emirates.

A. Answered by: Baroness Anelay of St Johns

Answered on: 21 March 2016

Our relationship with the United Arab Emirates allows us to discuss a range of important issues, including human rights. If we have concerns regarding arrests, convictions or sentencing we make these clear to Emirati authorities as part of our broader strategic engagement

Q. Asked by Andy Slaughter

(Hammersmith)

Asked on: 14 March 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

United Arab Emirates: British Nationals Abroad

30942

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports his Department has received on alleged mistreatment and torture of British citizens in detention in the United Arab Emiratessince 2011.

A. Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood

Answered on: 22 March 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Consular Directorate is aware of 37 cases of British nationals who have made allegations of torture or mistreatment in detention in the United Arab Emirates since and including 2011. The FCO takes all allegations or concerns of torture and mistreatment seriously and takes action appropriate to the circumstances of each case, including raising these with the Emirati authorities where we have permission from the individual.Asked on: 14 April 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

United Arab Emirates: Torture

33947

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of compliance by the United Arab Emirates with international treaties and norms on the use of torture.

A. Answered by: Mr Philip Hammond

Answered on: 19 April 2016

The British Government consistently and unreservedly condemns torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and it is a priority for us to combat it wherever and whenever it occurs. We are aware of recent allegations made against the United Arab Emirates and we have expressed our concerns to the authorities, including our expectation that all cases will be thoroughly investigated in line with international standards. During those representations the United Arab Emirates confirmed that they are committed to investigating any allegations of mistreatment. The United Arab Emirates are a State Party to the Convention against Torture.

Q. Asked by Mr Virendra Sharma

(Ealing, Southall)

Asked on: 08 April 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

United Arab Emirates: Political Prisoners

33067

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with the government of the United Arab Emirates on the number of political prisoners held in that country; and what representations he has made on behalf of such prisoners.

A. Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood

Answered on: 18 April 2016

We regularly discuss human rights with the UAE. If we have concerns regarding arrests, convictions or sentencing we make these clear to Emirati authorities, as part of our broader strategic engagement.

Q. Asked by Mr Virendra Sharma

(Ealing, Southall)

Asked on: 08 April 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

United Arab Emirates: Police

33119

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has received on the involvement in human rights abuses of police officers from the United Arab Emirates who have been trained by UK police officers.

A. Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood

Answered on: 18 April 2016

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not received any representations on the involvement in human rights abuses of police officers from the United Arab Emirates who have been trained by UK police officers. If we have concerns about alleged abuses we would make these clear to the Emirati authorities, as part of our broader strategic engagement.

Q. Asked by Mr Virendra Sharma

(Ealing, Southall)

Asked on: 08 April 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Arms Trade: United Arab Emirates

33066

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assurances the Government has sought from the government of the United Arab Emirates on the use of military equipment purchased from the UK for the repression of its citizens.

A. Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood

Answered on: 14 April 2016

The UK operates one of the most rigorous and transparent export control regimes in the world. All export licence applications, including those for military listed or dual use goods destined for the United ArabEmirates, are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking into account all relevant factors at the time of the application. We draw on all relevant information available to us, including reports from Non-Governmental Organisations and our overseas network. We will not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression and we take account of any risk that the goods might be diverted to undesirable end-users or end-use.

Q. Asked by Dr Alasdair McDonnell

(Belfast South)

Asked on: 21 April 2016

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Middle East: Press Freedom

34998

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the governments of (a) Egypt, (b) Saudi Arabia and (c) United Arab Emirates on the removal of restrictions on press freedom in these countries and the Middle East.

A. Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood

Answered on: 27 April 2016

We regularly raise our concerns over press freedoms with the Egyptian authorities both in London and in Cairo. The Prime Minister raised the detention of journalists including the trial of the Al Jazeera journalists with President Sisi during his visit to the UK in November 2015. I raised press freedoms and freedom of expression with the Egyptian Ambassador earlier this month.

We also regularly make our views on freedom of expression known to the Saudi Arabian Government. We continue to underline to the UAE that people must be allowed to freely discuss and debate issues and exercise the right to freedom of thought. We believe that reforms, including meeting citizens’ aspirations for greater participation, will be the guarantor of longer-term stability in the region.

Read more: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/

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