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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total cost of air
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travel between Northern Ireland and Great Britain was for (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the Department in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information in the categories requested could only be provided at disproportionate costs. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not differentiate in its records between money spent by Ministers on air travel and money spent by officials accompanying Ministers. Nor do the records differentiate between travel to Northern Ireland and travel between other parts of the United Kingdom. In the Financial Year 20032004, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spent £724,849 on domestic air travel for Ministers and officials.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 7 June 2004, Official Report, column 57W, what proportion of the time that British missions overseas devote to trade development and investment work is for military goods at (a) UK embassies in general and (b) the UK embassy in Saudi Arabia. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Responsibility for advice on the purchase of UK military equipment UK Diplomatic Missions overseas normally rests with Defence Attaches or staff from the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO). In the case of Saudi Arabia, there is a dedicated First Secretary (Defence Supply) based in Riyadh. A number of other British Missions overseas also have both military and civilian staff who are dedicated to Defence sales. The duties of staff employed in Trade and Investment work in Embassy commercial sections world wide do not usually include defence sales, except in the few cases where neither DESO nor Defence Attache staff are represented at the Mission. To provide a more detailed breakdown would incur disproportionate costs. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce) on 30 June 2004 Official Report, column 350W for the proportion of Defence Attache's time spent supporting legitimate defence exports and defence procurement collaboration activities in accordance with Government policy on arm exports at our overseas Missions.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department will develop a set of protocols to be followed in order to assist the resettlement of prisoners returning from abroad; and what actions his Department will take to ensure that (a) resettlement is as untraumatic as possible, and (b) returning prisoners are accorded sufficient assistance to begin rebuilding their lives. 
Mr. MacShane: Her Majesty's Government believe that British nationals returning from imprisonment overseas need to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society as quickly as possible. The best way for this to happen is through rapid entry into the benefit system when they return to the UK.
Returnees can be helped to do this by registering with "Prisoners Abroad", via their nearest UK Diplomatic Mission, as early as possible during their sentence.
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'Prisoners Abroad' is an independent non-government organisation (NGO) and charity, co-funded by trust funds and private individuals as well as by government. It offers an excellent resettlement programme which aims to help eligible returning British nationals access the benefits available and looks after them while they do this.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's work with "Prisoners Abroad" is an excellent example of an effective partnership between government and the voluntary sector as envisaged by the Compact on relations between government and the voluntary and community sector in England. The Compact is a partnership agreement between government and the voluntary and community sector (VCS), providing a framework for their future relationship.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance the Government have offered the Palestinian Authority in trying to quell disturbances within Palestine. 
Mr. Rammell: The UK has long said it is important that the Palestinian Authority build effective and transparently managed security services, which are able to deal with law and order on the Palestinian street. This will benefit the Palestinian public. It is also a commitment under the Roadmap. We have been working with the Palestinian Authority over recent months on improving their security capacity, and we continue to do so.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of Sudan about (a) the ratification of the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and (b) the reflection of that ratification in national legislation. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of people who have been sentenced to (a) death, (b) amputation, (c) cross-amputation and (d) flogging in Sudan in the last 12 months. 
The Sudanese Organisation Against Torture says that in the 12 months March 2003 to March 2004 they received reports of 71 people being sentenced to death and two to cross amputation. The UK Government supports NGOs and human rights organisations which catalogue and document reports of human rights violations, but exact numbers are not available. We are speaking to the Government of Sudan about making their own figures public. We continue to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan about the powers conferred on the Attorney-General and their compatibility with Article 9(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 
Mr. Rammell: The Attorney-General was ascribed the new powers under the National Security Act which was introduced in 1999 and has been regularly amended. Our Embassy in Khartoum regularly raises cases relating to incommunicado-detention with the Government of Sudan. On the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement, the Government of Sudan has committed itself to removing the emergency laws and implementing international human rights standards including the obligations of the International Convention for Civil and Political Rights.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan about its adherence to Articles 10 and 13 of the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with members of the United Nations Security Council about the need for a mandatory resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in respect of the conduct of the Government of Sudan in Darfur. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has held with the President of Chad about the relationship between the Janjaweed in Sudan and the Renewed National Front of Chad. 
Mr. Rammell: We have had no specific discussions with the President of Chad or his Government about the Renewed National Front of Chad. However we continue to monitor the situation with regard to cross-border attacks. The deployment of the African Union Ceasefire Commission in Darfur, to which we have donated £2 million should improve the overall security situation.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he had made to the Government of Sudan about the bombing in May 2004 by its forces of the Darfur town of Tabit, south of El Fashir. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan about the operation of the specialised criminal courts in Darfur. 
Mr. Rammell: Our Embassy in Khartoum, both bilaterally and through the EU-Sudan dialogue, regularly raises with the Sudanese Government cases that have passed through these courts; focusing not only on the sentences passed but also the lack of due legal process and the right to a fair trial.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Department has made to the Sudanese Government regarding the use of rape by pro-government forces within the Darfur region. 
Mr. Rammell: Reports of rape in Darfur are most alarming. We have made clear to the Government of Sudan that they must act now to improve the security situation and protect civilians from such atrocities, or the Security Council will need to take further action. These reports also underline the need to get the AU monitoring mission fully operational as quickly as possible, and to deploy Human Rights monitors. Three all-women commissions to investigate rape allegations have recently been established by the Government of Sudan. We are also encouraging the Government of Sudan to ratify the Convention of Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
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