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House of Lords written question – answered on 11th June 2009.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the trial of 12 Muslims in Kazan, Russia, is being observed by European Union representatives; and whether their prosecution was initiated by the Tatarstan autonomous government or by the Russian Federation authorities.

Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) , Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (and Deputy Chief Whip)

EU representatives are not formally observing the trial of the 12 defendants in Kazan. Our embassy in Moscow is, however, monitoring developments in the trial. It is important that all judicial processes in this case are carried out fairly and transparently. The UK strongly supports President Medvedev's rule of law agenda, and we discuss these issues regularly with our Russian counterparts, both bilaterally and through the EU.

From the reports on the trial that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has seen, it is unclear who initiated the prosecution of the suspects. These reports do however say that the detention of the suspects was a joint operation between the Tatarstan branch of the Russian Federation Security Service (FSB) and the Tatarstan Ministry of the Interior.

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