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Diego Garcia

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 7th November 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Tyrie Andrew Tyrie Chair, Treasury Sub-Committee, Chair, Treasury Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 17 November 2008 to the hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton, Official Report, columns 191-2W, on Diego Garcia: detainees, how many people were detained in the prison on Diego Garcia in each year from January 2002 to January 2009; and for what reasons and for how long each such person was detained.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The main purpose of the UK detention facility on Diego Garcia, commonly known as the reception centre, is to hold illegal fishermen caught in the Territory's waters. It was opened in 2007. BIOT Administration records show that between the point of it opening and January 2009, only one person has been imprisoned there for a period of 10 days during 2008 for an offence of assault. In September, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office released information following a Freedom of Information Act request which showed that a number of Sri Lankans were also held during the period he asks about, for offences related to illegally fishing in BIOT waters. These were held in the police station which is located next to the reception centre.

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