HL Deb 30 April 1998 vol 589 c38WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In which countries British diplomatic missions have tried to send officials to visit political prisoners, or to attend allegedly political trials, since 1 May 1997; what criteria are applied in making decisions on these matters; and whether they will clarify their policy in the forthcoming annual report of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on human rights. [HL1571]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Decisions to attend trials or, where practicable, have contact with prisoners are made case by case, taking into account the interests of the individual concerned and whether attendance at a trial might lend it unwarranted credibility. We keep no central record of such visits. The first published annual human rights report was published on 21 April. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House of Lords.