HL Deb 04 November 2002 vol 640 cc53-4WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will make representations to the Government of the United States to urge them, on behalf of those with British nationality, to take urgent measures necessary to have the legal status of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay determined by a competent tribunal, as recommended by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in its decision of 12 March. [HL6067]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean:

The question of the status of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay under international humanitarian law is complex and has to be considered in the light of the facts relating to each individual detainee.

The Government are conscious of the importance of safeguarding the welfare of the British detainees. The general circumstances of the British detainees have been the subject of regular representations by the British Embassy in Washington to the US Government. They have also been the subject of direct discussion between the Foreign Secretary and the US Secretary of State, as well as numerous communications at official and at ministerial level.

Whatever their status, the detainees are entitled to humane treatment, and if prosecuted, a fair trial. We have made this clear to the US authorities.