Prisoners: Pakistan

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 10th July 2018.

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Photo of Teresa Pearce Teresa Pearce Labour, Erith and Thamesmead

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what agreements are in place with the Government of Pakistan on the transfer of prisoners; and what effect those agreements have had on the number of prisoners exchanged with that country.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Any foreign national who comes to our country and abuses our hospitality by breaking the law should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them. More than 42,000 Foreign National Offenders have been removed from the UK since 2010, with over 5,600 removed in 2017/18.

A Prisoner Transfer Agreement is in place to allow Pakistani nationals to be transferred from the UK during their prison sentence so that they continue to serve their sentence in Pakistan (and vice versa for British nationals imprisoned in Pakistan), but it is currently suspended due to the corrupt release of prisoners transferred to Pakistan in 2010. Between the commencement of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement in 2008 and its suspension in 2010, a total of four prisoners were transferred to Pakistan, three of whom were corruptly released. The Government of Pakistan has since taken action to return the corruptly released prisoners to custody and has prosecuted those involved.

Work is underway with the Government of Pakistan to resolve the issues presented by the corrupt releases and restart transfers with appropriate safeguards in place. In the meantime, Pakistani nationals continue to be deported from the UK following completion of their prison sentences.

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