HC Deb 26 May 2004 vol 421 c1634W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the United States concerning the disapplication of the Geneva Convention in respect of the detainees held in Guantanamo Bay. [173004]

Mr. Mullin

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular contact with his US counterpart on a wide range of issues, including Guantanamo Bay.

The focus of the Government's discussions with the US authorities about Guantanamo Bay has been on how to resolve the position of the British nationals held there, as well as their welfare.

The Government's position is that the British detainees should either be tried fairly in accordance with international law or they should be returned to the UK. Our hope, however, is that the issues we have raised will be reflected in the treatment of other countries' nationals detained at Guantanamo Bay too.

We have made very clear to the US that the British detainees at Guantanamo Bay are entitled to be treated humanely. British officials have visited Guantanamo Bay on seven occasions to check on the welfare of the British detainees, most recently in March. We have raised any concerns we might have about their welfare with the US authorities.

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