HC Deb 09 July 1963 vol 680 cc1033-4
24. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many persons are now detained or imprisoned in Aden for political offences; and what offences they have committed.

Mr. Fisher

None, Sir.

Mr. Sorensen

Does this mean that no prisoners who deem themselves to be political prisoners are in detention at present? On the latter part of the Question, can the hon. Gentleman say whether any advocacy of union between the South Arabian Federation and the Yemen is an offence?

Mr. Fisher

I do not know what these people think about their own status. I merely say that there are no such people whom we consider, and the Government of Aden consider, as guilty of political offences. As far as I know, there is no reason why someone should not say that he is in favour of joining the Yemen.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Can the hon. Gentleman say how many people are in prison in Aden for going on strike, for holding meetings, publishing newspapers or doing other things which are normally regarded as legitimate political activities outside Aden?

Mr. Fisher

Fifteen people, among them three women, due for release on 10th July, are in prison for the sort of offence which the hon. Member mentions—taking part in illegal processions, unlawful assembly, and rioting.