HC Deb 27 January 1986 vol 90 c366W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of torture being carried out abroad with the aid of British-made equipment.

Mrs. Chalker

We are not aware of any specific reports of the use of British instruments for the purpose of torture in other countries.

I am ready to look into any cases that are drawn to my attention.

Mr. Redmond

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what time scale Her Majesty's Government have in mind with regard to the United Kingdom's ultimate ratification of the United Nations Convention on Torture and the European Convention on Torture; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Chalker

We intend to ratify this convention, which we signed on 15 March 1985, when the necessary procedures ahve been completed. We need to examine first whether our current legislation and other arrangements accord with its provisions or whether new legislation will be required. This examination and further consultation with the dependent territories, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will necessarily take time.

The draft European Convention against Torture is still under negotiation by an expert committee of the Council of Europe. We are participating constructively in those negotiations. Our objective is a convention that can be signed and ratified by all members of the Council of Europe.