Western Sahara

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 29th February 2012.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to to ask the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to visit occupied Western Sahara.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has no plans to ask the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression to visit Western Sahara. The British Government are committed to the independence of UN Special Rapporteurs and their right to fulfil their mandates as they choose. For this reason, we are not involved in decisions concerning the remit of their work.

Officials from the British embassy visit the territory regularly and speak to a range of interlocutors including officials and human rights organisations.

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