Ian Pearson: We have regularly raised concerns about the practice of re-education through labour (RTL) in China with the Chinese Government. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed reform of RTL with the Chinese Foreign Minister during his visit to China in January 2005. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister raised this issue during his visit to China in September 2005. RTL was also discussed at the EU China Human Rights Dialogue in October 2005
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Iranian Government regarding the al-Qaeda operatives they claim are in their custody. 
Dr. Howells: We continue to press Iran to take effective action against members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups using Iran as a base, transit route or refuge. We have also sought information about members of al-Qaeda that Iran is reportedly detaining. We want to see Iran co-operate actively with the rest of the international community against these groups. It is vital for all states to work closely together to defeat terrorism.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of how many private military contractors have been killed in Iraq since March 2003. 
Mr. Straw: From our consular records, we are aware of at least 21 British nationals who have been killed in Iraq since March 2003 while working as private military or security contractors. However, this figure is not definitive as our records do not as a formality include details of employers of those British nationals who die abroad. We are also aware of a number of private military and security contractors of other nationalities who have been killed in Iraq during this period. However, we are unable to provide any figures on these as we do not keep statistics on deaths of foreign nationals abroad.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will conduct an inquiry into the implications for the UK of the manipulation of the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq following the final Volcker report, with particular reference to (a) British citizens identified in the report and (b) those who received oil concessions from Iraq. 
Dr. Howells: The Government have no plans to hold a separate inquiry into allegations surrounding the Oil-for-Food Programme. The Government believe that the UN and member states need to learn the lessons from the comprehensive investigation carried out by the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC), chaired by Paul Volcker. The Government co-operated fully with the IIC throughout its investigation and the IIC's findings have been brought to the attention of the relevant UK investigative authorities. Since the publication of the IIC's final report, the Government have also asked the IIC for any further information it holds on British companies and individuals named in the report and will promptly pass any information received on to the relevant UK authorities to consider what further action is required.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the occasions on which the Government have overridden the scrutiny reserve resolution in each year since 1980. 
|Number of overrides
|2005 (January to June)
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his position is on (a) Belgium's decision to charge Hissene Habre with crimes against humanity and torture and (b) the extradition of Hissene Habre to Belgium. 
Ian Pearson: It is a matter for the Belgian authorities to decide whether to bring charges against Hissene Habre in accordance with Belgian law, and whether to request his extradition from Senegal. However, I can confirm that Mr. Habre was detained in Dakar on 15 November pending a Court of Appeal judgment on the merits of the Belgian extradition request. While the request is still under consideration, it is our policy not to pre-judge the outcome of the judicial deliberations.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action has been taken by his Department to support efforts to bring Hissene Habre to justice for crimes against humanity. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) on 16 November 2005, Official Report, column 1270W, and to the answers I gave the hon. Member on 21 November 2005, Official Report, columns 159192W and today (UIN 27028).
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David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many employees have been dismissed by his Department in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
In answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Andrew Mackinlay) on 20 December 2004, Official Report, column 1399W, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that three members of staff had been dismissed as a consequence of misconduct in 2004. This figure included one member of staff who was dismissed for reasons of inefficiency and should not have been included in the 2004 total.
Ian Pearson: Following the arrest of Dr. Kiiza Besigye on 14 November, our high commissioner in Kampala, representing the EU presidency, called on President Museveni to express our concern and to press for an early and transparent trial. On 16 November, Dr. Besigye and 23 other opposition activists were charged with treason and additionally, in the case of Dr. Besigye, rape. My noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, also spoke with the Ugandan Foreign Minister Kutesa on 17 November to express deep concern at these developments. We continue to urge the Ugandan authorities to ensure that due legal process and protection under the constitution are afforded to all those who have been indicted and that a fair and transparent trial is held as soon as possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has
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received reports of detention centres for terror suspects run by the US Central Intelligence Agency in Central and Eastern Europe. 
Dr. Howells: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary gave the right hon. Member for North-East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell) on 21 November 2005, Official Report, column 1592W.