HC Deb 13 June 2002 vol 386 c1401W
Ms Christine Russell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. [62519]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

British officials paid a third visit to Guantanamo Bay between 27 and 31 May. The purpose of the visit was to ask questions relevant to national security, to confirm the identity and nationality of two British detainees transferred there in May and to check on the welfare of all seven British detainees. The officials were from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Security Service.

The officials met the detainees individually. US officials were able to observe the interviews. One detainee has sustained injuries in Afghanistan. He and the US authorities confirmed that he was receiving medical treatment for them. The other detainees appeared to be in satisfactory physical health, though some of them complained of ailments, which are being addressed. Some detainees raised concerns about their status and other aspects of their detention and conditions at Guantanamo, which British officials discussed with the camp authorities. The officials saw no visible sign of mistreatment.

British officials delivered to the camp authorities letters from some of the detainees' families to be passed to the detainees. Some of the detainees asked the officials to relay oral messages to their families. We have passed them and the details of the detainees' circumstances to their families. Personal details are not disclosed in the answer for reasons of privacy. The detainees confirmed that they were able to send and receive letters to and from their families through the camp authorities and through the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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