Terrorism: Repatriation of Suspects

House of Lords written question – answered at on 4 December 2007.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Statement by the Lord President (Baroness Ashton of Upholland) on 14 November (Official Report, cols. 477-95), what action has been taken, by whom and when, effectively to monitor the treatment of the nine foreign terrorist suspects repatriated under existing agreements with recipient countries; what specific arrangements will be made in the light of experience with existing agreements in any new agreements; and whether they will in future regularly make available reports on such monitoring.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Minister of State (Africa, Asia and the UN), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa, Asia and the UN)

We have signed memoranda of understanding concerning the provision of assurances in respect of persons subject to deportation with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon. Arrangements allowing deportations with assurances (DWA) are also in place with Algeria on the basis of an exchange of letters, signed by the former Prime Minister the right honourable Tony Blair and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on 11 July 2006 and exchanges of diplomatic Notes Verbale.

To date, eight Algerian terrorist suspects have been deported to Algeria under these arrangements. Individual assurances were also sought in each case, concerning their treatment on return and criminal status in Algeria. A ninth individual holding dual Algerian/French nationality was deported to France outside the framework of the DWA arrangements.

There is no formal monitoring body in Algeria. Individuals deported from the UK under the DWA arrangements may remain in touch with our embassy in Algiers after their return and were invited to provide details of next of kin or an alternative contact point in Algeria. In turn they were provided with a contact point at the embassy and it was explained that they, or their nominated contact point, could maintain contact with the embassy after their return to Algeria. To date, two individuals have taken up this offer. Further to any deportation under these arrangements, UK officials also maintain close contact with the Algerian authorities.

We are in discussion with other countries and will update the House if and when we reach agreement. We draw on experience to date in seeking to negotiate any new agreement.

There are no plans to make reports on monitoring regularly available.

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