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Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the first round of the presidential elections in the Ukraine; and whether he has assessed this as a free and fair campaign and vote. [197220]

Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the declaration on the conduct of the elections in Ukraine issued by the EU Presidency on 1 November, to the Conclusions issued by the European Council on 5 November and to the press statement I on 3 November.

In the Conclusions the European Council regretted that the first round of the presidential election did not meet international standards and called on the Ukrainian authorities "to address the noted deficiencies in lime before the second round of the elections and to create conditions allowing for free and fair elections, in particular by ensuring equal access to state media for both contenders,"

The full text of the Council's Conclusions and the EU Presidency's declaration are available on the Presidency's website at and my press statement at


Anti-terrorism Legislation

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals have been detained on his authority under anti-terrorist legislative powers; how many are now detained; and for how long each individual has been detained. [194001]

Mr. Blunkett: 16 people have been certified and detained under Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001(ATCSA). One further person has been certified but is detained under other powers. Those detained under Part 4 of the ATCSA 2001 are free to leave the country at any time; and two have done so.

Of these, 12 remain in detention and one has been released from detention under strict bail conditions.

Details of the 12 remaining in detention and their dates of certification are as follows:
Date of certification
A17 December 2001
B5 February 2002
C17 December 2001
E17 December 2001
H22 April 2002
Rideh17 December 2001
P15 January 2003
Abu Qatada23 October 2002
I22 April 2002
K2 October 2003
S7 August 2003
Q15 January 2003

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Each case is reviewed quarterly.

Further details are available on the Home Office website at:

Anti-Social Behaviour

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place to reduce (a) begging and (b) street drinking. [146265]

Ms Blears: Since the end of July this year, begging has been included as a trigger offence under the Criminal Justice Interventions Programme. This will mean that those charged with begging will be drug tested and will enhance their opportunities for the underlying causes of their behaviour to be addressed and to route out repeat offending by offering treatment.

We need to ensure that we address the underlying causes of those who beg. If we help those who beg because of drug use to get access to effective treatment we help them, help communities and help those intimidated by begging. Better use of enforcement powers and alternative giving schemes will help to address the underlying and immediate problems.

Street drinking, like begging can be intimidating. In June 2003 70 local authorities notified the Home Office that they had set up designated public places orders (DPPOs) to restrict antisocial public drinking in areas that have experienced alcohol related disorder or nuisance. The Licensing Act 2003 has also extended the powers of the police to confiscate alcohol from individuals in a public place which is designated as a non drinking zone.

Fixed penalty notices for disorder which were strengthened in the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 are also proving useful tools for dealing with offences such as drunk and disorderly and drunk on a public highway.

Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the prospects for those detained (a) at HMP Belmarsh and (b) elsewhere within the Prison Service since 2001, under part 4 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, to be brought to trial or released. [193569]

Mr. Blunkett: Part 4 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA) is an immigration power which enables me to certify and detain foreign nationals who are suspected of involvement in international terrorism and who are believed to pose a risk to national security, but who can not currently be removed from the United Kingdom. Those detained under part 4 of the ATCS Act are free to leave the country at any time; and two have done so. The
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detainees have also been offered transfer to special facilities at Woodhill prison—and their lawyers on their behalf have rejected this.

As the House debated at the time, the admissibility of the evidence presented for certification required the special process under the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to avoid exposure of security services and techniques.

The detainees' cases are kept under review. Only those who pose a continuing threat to national security are detained.

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners held at Broadmoor Hospital are detained under provisions of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. [193660]

Mr. Blunkett: Two individuals who are the subject of a certificate under part 4 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA) have been transferred to Broadmoor under s48 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what comparative assessment he has made of levels of (a) immigration and (b) asylum claims in the UK and the rest of the EU. [191466]

Mr. Browne: Assessment of levels of immigration and asylum claims in the UK and the rest of the UK is part of an ongoing process for policy development.

In the most recent full-year figures, asylum claims in the UK fell by 40 per cent. while the rest of the EU fell by 10 per cent. (2003 compared with 2002).

RDS have commissioned three reports which have assessed and reported on the patterns and trends of international migration:

The Home Office statistical bulletin on asylum statistics and the quarterly annual statistics report include tables to show asylum applications to European Countries. Comparative assessments are also made by Immigration Research and Statistic Service (IRSS) on an ad hoc basis.

The National Audit Office carried out a review of the Home Office's asylum and migration statistics. Part of the review was to examine whether changes in the number of asylum applications have impacted on other forms of migration within the UK. There was no clear statistical evidence that such an impact had occurred.

In addition numerous international bodies (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Council of Europe, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Eurostat) regularly publish comparative data on the trends and levels of immigration and asylum claims.
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IRSS is the UK contact point for the European Migration Network, which aims to build up and facilitate the exchange of comparative information in the field of migration and asylum across European Member States.

Communications Interception

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of, and how many, proposed interceptions of communications under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 submitted to him for approval by officials he rejected in the last year for which figures are available. [188048]

Mr. Blunkett: Records are not kept in a form which would enable the information requested to be extracted without disproportionate cost. Each application for interception is subject to careful scrutiny at a number of stages before a warrant is issued. The application is submitted by a very senior officer following scrutiny within the agency concerned. Within my Department, it will normally be examined by officials at four successive levels of seniority before being presented to me for
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approval. I consider each application carefully before issuing the warrant. At any stage in this process the case may, and on occasion is, referred back to the agency for clarification or further detail. This may, and sometimes does, result in a decision that the application should be withdrawn or that a warrant should not be issued.

The whole process including rejected applications is scrutinised by the Intercept Commissioner.

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