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Results 181–200 of 9399 for speaker:Kim Howells

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Baha'is (Iran) (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: Yes, we will certainly raise it with the Government of Iran. That is one example of the way in which Baha'is in Iran are being marginalised because of their beliefs. That is wholly without justice and is a very worrying development.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Baha'is (Iran) (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: I am completely unaware of the alleged statements made by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, but I am only too willing to put it on record that people should not be punished in any way for the way in which their sexuality guides them. They should certainly not be tortured, imprisoned and hanged, as they have been in Iran.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Palestinian Occupied Territories (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: We expect Israel, including the Israeli defence force, to comply with its obligations under the fourth Geneva convention, and have made clear where we profoundly disagree with Israel on key issues, such as the route of the barrier and location of settlements. The Annapolis talks provide the best opportunity yet to move forward. The announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza was welcome. We are doing...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Palestinian Occupied Territories (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: Not very helpful signals, and I agree entirely with the hon. Gentleman that this is the time to push the Israelis hard on the question of illegal settlements. Clearly, they are illegal and are not helping the Annapolis process in the least. Indeed, they are an obstacle to progress.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Palestinian Occupied Territories (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: We continue to raise the issue with the Israelis, and continue to urge them either to charge those individuals or release them—it is as simple as that. They are elected representatives and should be treated as such. If the Israelis believe that they are guilty of some crime, they should charge them, not keep them incarcerated without a proper trial.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Palestinian Occupied Territories (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: The taking of hostages was not only a despicable act in itself, and it remains so—kidnapping is always one of the worst crimes—but caused thousands of deaths in the Lebanese war of July 2006. We urge the Palestinian and Hezbollah factions to release the Israeli soldiers. That would be a concrete and important step towards a sustainable peace in that region.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Palestinian Occupied Territories (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: I certainly do not believe that all officers and all men in the Israeli army behave in that way. Many soldiers, including many whom I have met, have a real regard for human rights—the human rights of Palestinians as well as of Israelis. We will continue to urge Israel to abide by international law in its treatment of Palestinians in those occupied territories, and to work towards a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Palestinian Occupied Territories (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: I should like to think that my hon. Friend had inferred that our actions were having some effect, but I do not think they are having a great effect. The latest announcements—within the last few weeks—of 1,000 new dwellings on occupied territories are doing no good whatever to the Annapolis process. When I met Prime Minister Fayad in Berlin last night, he repeatedly referred to the issue...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Palestinian Occupied Territories (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: My hon. Friend is right. I have seen and heard many reports of truck-loads of rockets intended to be fired into Israel that have been hit or handled badly and have exploded. People have been killed, including onlookers and innocent people in the streets of Gaza. I take reports of that kind with a pinch of salt, and I think we all should. The fact is that there is a propaganda war going on in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Yemen (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: Foreign engagements for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers are kept under constant review. We do not announce visits until they have been confirmed, and final decisions on overseas visits are often not possible until shortly before the day of travel. Last month, however, I paid my third visit to Yemen. It included a visit to Aden, which I know is a place close to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Yemen (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: My right hon. Friend will know as well as I do that civil unrest in Yemen is growing. There are grievances throughout the country. Al-Houthi-led rebels in the north have been exploding bombs, and indeed exploded bombs while I was there, although luckily out of my earshot for a change. There is also a great deal of disquiet in the south, even around Aden. As my right hon. Friend will know,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Yemen (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: Yes. It is an extremely serious problem. The hon. Gentleman will be glad to know that the British Navy and the British coastguard service have been co-operating closely with the Yemeni—

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Yemen (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: I am sorry: the Royal Navy. [Interruption.] No, not the Welsh navy. The Royal Navy has been co-operating very closely with the Yemenis on this. The authorities in Somaliland and Djibouti, which are also exercised about the problem, are now beginning to co-operate with Yemen to try to eradicate it, but it does not just involve piracy. There is an enormous amount of people trafficking, and an...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Yemen (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: I would be only too glad to take up this case.

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Topical Questions (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: The murder of trade unionists and human rights workers in Colombia is an issue of great concern. I have seen various figures and the picture is far from clear, but the bottom line is that a single murder of a trade unionist or a human rights defender is one too many. My hon. Friend will know that, whichever figures one takes, the number of such killings was falling year on year until this...

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Topical Questions (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: I visited Addis Ababa last week and tried to discover what I could about the preparations that have been made to meet that impending catastrophe. As far as I could judge, it certainly does not look as though it will be on the scale of 1984. I was told that there are adequate food supplies and that the systems are in place to get that food to the people. I hope that that is right. The...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Human Rights: Iran (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: The human rights situation in Iran is a major concern, and we remain committed to speaking out about this. Together with the EU, we have raised human rights concerns and specific cases with the Iranian authorities on at least 17 occasions this year. With strong UK support, the EU presidency has issued three public declarations in the past two weeks about the execution of juvenile offenders in...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Responsibility to Protect (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: The Responsibility to Protect, as agreed in the context of the UN, applies to cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. We would therefore want to see Security Council action/discussion where such national authorities are not protecting their own population in such cases.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Republic of Somaliland (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: I visited Somaliland last week and was impressed with the work proceeding to ensure free and fair elections are held in early 2009. The postponement of Somaliland elections for a second time in April this year led to international donors suspending their funding of 75 per cent. of voter registration costs. But I am glad to say that a solution was agreed with the National Electoral Commission...

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Colombia (24 Jun 2008)

Kim Howells: We collect information on murders and other abuses in Colombia from the United Nations, International Red Cross and a range of governmental and civil society organisations. We are encouraged that homicides have fallen substantially over the past six years. However, too many people are killed or are victims of abuse, including trade unionists and human rights defenders. The Colombian...


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