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Iraq

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British citizens have been killed and injured in Iraq since the end of the war. [178138]

Mr. MacShane: 26 military personnel and 16 British civilians have been killed in Iraq since 1 May 2003 when major combat operations ceased. Consular staff have also provided assistance to a large number of British civilians who have been injured. This has included visiting individuals in local hospitals, assisting with medical transfers inside Iraq and arranging medical repatriations outside of Iraq. Given the varied nature of these cases, it has not been possible to collate the total number of injured that we have assisted. To obtain this information would incur disproportionate costs.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 7 June 2004, Official Report, column 63W, on Iraq, if he will place in the Library the minutes of the liaison meeting between the representative of the office of the UK Special Representative for Iraq with the US authorities in Baghdad; if he will list the representations which have been made to the coalition powers on the incident; what arrangements he understands have been put in place for the investigation ordered by the US Commander of the Multinational Force in Iraq; whether it will meet and hear evidence at any stage in public; to what timescale he understands it will operate; who will undertake the investigation, and who they represent; whether the UK offered arrangements or individuals to help undertake the investigation; and if he will make a statement. [179410]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The nature of any previous discussions the UK has had with the US Government on this matter are confidential, I am therefore withholding these details under Exemption l (c) of Part 2 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

The arrangements for the conduct of the investigation are for the US Government. The investigation is still under way but we have no indications when it will be completed. The United Kingdom is not involved in the investigation itself.

Iraqi Kurds

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK Government have received a copy of the letter sent to President Bush at the beginning of June by Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani concerning the future autonomy of Iraqi Kurds; and if he will make a statement. [179409]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: There was a private letter from Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani to President Bush, which was, we understand, subsequently leaked.

The long-term governing arrangements for Iraq, including those concerning any federal structure for Iraq, are a matter for the Iraqi constitution, which will
 
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be drawn up by the Transitional National Assembly in 2005. UNSCR 1546 welcomes the commitment of the Interim Government of Iraq to work towards a federal, democratic, pluralistic and unified Iraq, in which there is full respect for political and human rights.

Western Sahara/Morocco

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent deaths of two Saharawis in Moroccan custody in Laayoune and Guelmim. [179323]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Moroccan authorities are looking into both of these cases. In the Guelmim case, police officers have been arrested and are likely to face charges. In the Laayoune case, the Moroccan Ministry of Justice is considering its next steps following a post mortem examination and representations from the family of the deceased. Moroccan NGOs have also responded and are following the cases, working constructively with the authorities and the families. My officials will continue to follow developments.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the recent Amnesty International Report on human rights abuses in Western Sahara and Morocco. [179324]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Ministers and officials raise human rights concerns with the Moroccan authorities as appropriate. We raised, for example, both bilaterally and in co-ordination with EU partners, the case of Ali Lmrabet with the relevant authorities.

We welcome Amnesty's positive view of the advances in human rights in Morocco during the period of the report, especially with regard to women's rights under the new Personal Status Code and the establishment of a Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

With regard to the Western Sahara dispute, we have encouraged all parties to co-operate on those missing in the conflict and have urged the Polisario to release the 514 remaining prisoners of war in their custody without delay.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make urgent representations to the Government of Spain on its new peace treaty plan, Madrid II, to try to settle the Western Sahara issue, with specific reference to the concerns expressed by (a) the Polisario Front and (b) the Saharawis people. [179325]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have regular discussions with the Spanish Government on the question of Western Sahara. These have focussed on ensuring that the UN process leads to a fair and lasting solution to this dispute. There are no plans to make representations.

Zionist Terrorists (1940s/50s)

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether all Government papers in relation to the killing of UK individuals by Zionist terrorists in the 1940s and 1950s are now in the public domain; and if he will make a statement. [179794]


 
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Mr. Straw: Government papers on the killing of UK individuals by Zionist terrorists in the 1940s and 1950s will be dispersed among the files originating in a number of Government Departments now in The National Archives (TNA). The TNA catalogue will show any that have been withheld.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not have a central list of its withheld records. In the time available my Department has not identified any withheld papers dealing with this subject. A search is continuing to confirm the position and I will write to my hon. Friend when this is done.

The FCO is re-reviewing all of its withheld records on a systematic basis. Over 20,000 previously withheld records have been released since 1992. We also re-review on request any specific items identified by researchers working in TNA. In the last year we have re-reviewed and released a block of material including some on Zionist organisations in response to such a request; these are now available at TNA in class CO 733. Quarterly lists of FCO previously withheld releases are published on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk).

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Employment Tribunals (Reinstatement Orders)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will introduce legislation to ensure that employment tribunals have the power (a) to enforce Reinstatement Orders and (b) to force companies who do not comply with Reinstatement Orders to pay compensation in default. [179727]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The employment tribunals can order the reinstatement of an employee who has been unfairly dismissed, provided the employee seeks such a remedy and the tribunal considers that it would be just and practicable to order it. Employers who unreasonably fail to comply with a Reinstatement Order are required to pay a significant additional award on top of the usual award for unfair dismissal.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Reinstatement Orders were issued by employment tribunals in each year since 1997; and how many have been carried out. [179728]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Since 1997 the number of Reinstatement Orders issued by the employment tribunals is as follows:
Year(23)Number
1997–9826
1998–9916
1999–200010
2000–017
2001–026
2002–036
2003–048


(23) The year is the financial year beginning 1 April and ending on 31 March.


The Employment Tribunals Service does not collect data on how many Reinstatement Orders are carried out.
 
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