HL Deb 20 February 2003 vol 644 c194WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they have made to the Government of Dubai concerning the arbitrary detention of a British citizen, covered in the Opinions of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention No 17 of 17 September 1998, and on the continued imprisonment of this person one year beyond the end of his sentence, calculated in accordance with the law of Dubai: and what response they have received from the authorities of Dubai. [HL1594]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos)

The British national in question is serving a six-year sentence for fraud in Dubai. The date of his release is. of course, a matter for the Dubai authorities in accordance with the relevant local law. The lawyers acting for the British national are aware of the position on the release arrangements and are best placed to advise the detainee on his legal position. The Dubai authorities are in direct touch with the lawyers and these have not suggested that Dubai is breaching its international obligations in its handling of this case; nor treating the detainee in question any differently to local prisoners. However, we have asked the Dubai authorities to provide further information with regard to the release date. On the point about arbitrary detention, the Dubai authorities explained their position to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in a letter on 9 November 2002.

We will continue to provide the detainee with all consular assistance we properly can.