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Departmental Website

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total cost of his Department's website was in real terms in each of the last four years; and how many hits it received in each of those years. [36141]

Mr. MacShane: The costs (excluding staff) of the FCO website ( over the past four years are as follows:

1997Initial set up and design costs 53,490
1998Technical support and running costs 47,000
1999Technical support and running costs 47,000
2000Design enhancement, technical support and running costs118,970
2001Design enhancement, technical support and running costs135,856

Total page impressions for each year are:


Saudi Arabia

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Saudi Arabia about allegations of torture in Saudi police stations, detention centres and jails. [36046]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government are concerned about the allegations of torture in Saudi Arabia in the Amnesty International "Rights at Risk" publication. Saudi Arabia acceded to the UN Convention against Torture in October 1997. We continue to encourage the Saudis to fully implement the convention. We raise our concerns with the Saudis about human rights at all levels.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Saudi Arabia about recent allegations of torture of British nationals in Saudi Arabia; and what investigations have been launched on the basis of such allegations. [36047]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government have made representations at the highest levels to the Saudi Government about those British nationals detained following a series of bombings. We continue to do so. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, other Ministers and I have raised these cases in our contact with the Saudi Government.

Prisoners (Afghanistan)

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assurances the UK Government have received from the US Administration about the treatment of prisoners transferred from UK forces to US forces in Afghanistan. [36045]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The issue has not arisen since we have not transferred any prisoners between UK and US forces in Afghanistan.


Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when the European Union observing team will publish its final report on the election process in Zimbabwe; [36370]

Mr. Straw: The EU tried for eight months to engage Zimbabwe in constructive consultation, under the Cotonou agreement. President Mugabe refused to engage. The EU accordingly moved to Article 96 consultations in October 2001. This was a final opportunity for the Government of Zimbabwe to engage positively. Again, they did not.

As a consequence, at the General Affairs council on 28 January the EU decided it would close Article 96 Consultations and implement targeted sanctions if the Government of Zimbabwe prevented the deployment of an EU observer mission, or impeded its effective operation; if they prevented the international media from having free access to cover the election; if there was a serious deterioration in the human rights situation, or attacks on the opposition; or if the election was assessed as not being free and fair.

On 4 February the Zimbabwean Government sent a letter to the European Union, inviting it to send observers to cover the election. The letter specifically excluded the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland from sending observers. It did not specify how many could be sent, (the EU had intended to send a total of 150). The letter did not specify either what access they would have to voting stations.

On 16 February, the Government of Zimbabwe expelled the Swedish leader of the EU observer team, Pierre Schori.

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Mr. Schori reported to the General Affairs Council (GAC) on 18 February that an EU election observation mission was untenable because the Zimbabwe Government was obstructing the deployment of observers and because of the unremitting violence and restrictions on the media. The GAC therefore decided to impose targeted sanctions (asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo) against 20 senior members of the Zimbabwe Government. The vote was unanimous. A copy of these conclusions has been placed in the Library.

The GAC conclusions note that the EU reserves the right to take additional targeted restrictive measures, at a later date, if the situation deteriorates further.

Commercial Contracts

(Ministerial Endorsement)

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British embassies have submitted requests for (a) prime ministerial and (b) other ministerial endorsement of commercial contracts in their respective countries in the last three years, broken down by (i) UK companies and (ii) other companies, indicating in each case the value of contracts concerned and the outcome of each of the endorsements. [36703]

Mr. Straw: Ministers write frequently in support of UK commercial interests in overseas markets. The information is not, however, available in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Indonesian Government following the establishment of a National Investigation Commission (KPN) to investigate the killing of Papuan pro- independence leader, Theys Eluay; and what assessment he has made of the composition of the investigation team. [36929]

Mr. Bradshaw: On 29 November, the day after the establishment of a National Investigation Commission, the Chargé d'Affaires in Jakarta raised our concerns about this case with Manuel Kaisiepo, the Minister for the Development of Eastern Indonesia. On 5 February Foreign Office officials raised the issue of the National Investigation Commission with the Indonesian Ambassador in London. They reiterated the need for an independent investigation and for any findings to be made public.

The UK Government are aware of widespread concern over the composition of the National Investigation Commission, and the presence of the separate Indonesian armed forces investigation team. The Indonesian Government must now show they are able to investigate the case objectively and transparently, and subsequently apply the law appropriately.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the prospect of the alleged perpetrators of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in East Timor being brought to justice in Indonesia in

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proceedings which meet international human rights standards before the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court established for that purpose. [36927]

Mr. Bradshaw: While there has been good progress in East Timor in bringing to account those who committed crimes in 1999, progress in Jakarta has been disappointingly slow. However, judges and prosecutors for the Ad Hoc Tribunal have now been appointed and the tribunal is expected to begin hearing cases in March.

While it is important for the tribunal to begin as soon as possible, we will continue to raise our concerns about the jurisdictional limitations of the tribunal with the Indonesian authorities. The question of retroactive prosecutions will be for the tribunal to determine. The judges and prosecutors appointed to the tribunal are professional lawyers.

There is currently no provision for victim/witness protection under Indonesian law. However, it is expected that this will be included in forthcoming legislation.

The embassy in Jakarta will monitor the proceedings of thet tribunal closely.

The Indonesian Government and representatives from the UN Transitional Administration to East Timor (UNTAET) and the East Timorese leadership meet regularly to discuss a range of bilateral issues.

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