British Nationals Abroad: Detainees

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 8th January 2019.

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Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Labour, Hampstead and Kilburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his Department’s policy is on (a) consular access and (b) private visits by embassy staff for British nationals detained abroad at risk of torture or ill-treatment.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

When we are notified of a British national’s arrest or detention overseas, in any circumstance, we aim to contact them as soon as possible to assess how we can help. We then aim to provide assistance according to their individual circumstances and local conditions. This includes ensuring they have access to legal advice and medical assistance if needed. We take all allegations or concerns of torture and mistreatment very seriously and will follow up with action appropriate to the circumstances of the case. This can include increasing the frequency of our visits, considering support for a transfer if the detainee wishes to move to another wing or facility, and, with their permission, raising concerns with the local authorities.

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