HL Deb 27 October 2003 vol 654 cc1-2WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are discussing with the United States authorities the continued imprisonment without trial in Guantanamo of persons aged under 16 and over 60; and, if not, whether on humanitarian grounds they will do so; and [HL4511]

Whether four children aged 13, 14 and 15, together with two men aged 88 and 98, are still held at Guantanamo Bay (Cuba); and whether they are asking the United States authorities to release the young and old prisoners. [HL4654]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

The focus of the Government's discussions with the US authorities has been on how to resolve the position of all the UK detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, none of whom are juveniles. Our hope, however, is that the issues raised will be reflected in the treatment of other countries' detainees.

Any situation where juveniles are held in the same conditions as adults would raise concerns. I am afraid I am unable to comment further on the detention of juveniles at Guantanamo as Her Majesty's Government do not have access to the details of the circumstances of their detention.

Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 6 October (WA22), whether they will ask Mr Moazzam Begg, now in detention at Guantanamo (Cuba), whether he was arrested at Islamabad in February 2002, whether he previously fought in Afghanistan and to verify his replies with the Pakistan Government. [HL4657]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

We understand that the fact that Moazzam Begg was arrested in Pakistan in February 2002 is a matter of public record.

We are not in a position to prove the information requested about whether Mr Begg fought in Afghanistan. This information is withheld under exemptions 1 and 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. The Data Protection Act also prevents us disclosing personal data on individual cases (exemption 15 of the code).