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Ian Pearson: The Government remain concerned at the situation in Cote d'lvoire. We support the mediation efforts of the Africa Union (AU), UN and Economic Community Of West African States. An International Working Group (IWG) has been established by the UN and AU to oversee the peace process and the UK is represented at its monthly meetings.
The outbreak of unrest in Abidjan and elsewhere last week, however, was worrying. Violent demonstrations by supporters of President Gbagbo followed the recommendation by the IWG that the mandate of the National Assembly should not be renewed. This recommendation was in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1633 inviting the IWG to ensure that Ivorian institutions function normally until the holding of elections. We urge all Ivorians to unite in support of efforts to bring a lasting peace to the country.
The mandate of the UN Mission in Cote d'lvoire remains unchanged: inter alia, to monitor the cessation of hostilities and to support the peace process leading to the organisation of free, fair, open and transparent elections in Cote d'lvoire.
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Ian Pearson: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no recent meetings with the United Nations special rapporteur, Professor Pinheiro, but Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met him most recently in Geneva in December 2005.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of (a) the treatment of the Hindu community in Russia and (b) the effect on the community of the loss of the Hindu Temple in Moscow. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Hindu community, like a number of other religious communities, have faced difficulties freely practising their faith in Russia. These include the inability to establish a permanent place of worship in Moscow since the demolition of the Hindu Temple there in 2004. We raise the issue of religious freedom during regular EU and bilateral contact with the Russian Government. We will continue to monitor this and other religious freedom issues in Russia and raise them as appropriate in the course of our ongoing dialogue.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has received in the past 12 months concerning the safety of (a) genocide survivors and (b) prisoners released under the gacaca system in Rwanda. 
Ian Pearson: We have received no representations in the past 12 months on genocide survivors. Ibuka, the genocide survivors' umbrella organisation, makes regular representations to the Government of Rwanda. The Rwanda National police is tasked with investigating all allegations of crimes against genocide survivors and witnesses involved in genocide related gacaca trials. We have received no representations in the past 12 months on behalf of prisoners released into the community as part of the gacaca process. Fears among the population about the punishments believed to be meted out by gacaca courts led to around 15,000 Rwandans fleeing to neighbouring countries in the past six months. Most of them have now returned.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the gacaca prisoner-release system in Rwanda; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the system of justice in Rwanda; how many
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perpetrators of the genocide have been brought to justice; and what assessment he has made of the protection available to witnesses. 
Ian Pearson: The Rwandan authorities are pursuing the traditional justice system, gacaca, in order to tackle the enormous number of people, estimated at 750,000, accused of genocide and related crimes. A new gacaca bill, which replaces the current gacaca law, has been forwarded to the Rwandan Parliament for approval. We have not yet seen this. With European partners we are urging the Rwandan Government to ensure that the new gacaca courts do not issue the death penalty, and that international concerns over the variable punishments and the lack of defence counsel are addressed.
So far, over 4,000 people have been judged and sentenced by gacaca courts. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has tried 26 people. The ICTR has, with the assistance of the Rwandan Government, placed 20 individuals in witness protection in Rwanda. Others have been relocated in third countries.
Ian Pearson: The UK played a significant role in designing and supporting the implementation of Rwanda's Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP), in which reconciliation is a key theme. We contributed technical assistance to help with policy development, institutional development and capacity building. As the major bilateral donor to Rwanda, the UK is providing development assistance worth some £46 million in 200506, which is targeted towards delivery of Rwanda's PRSP. In recent years, we have supported specific activities to promote understanding and reconciliation, including an allocation of over £0.9 million for peace education activities, linked to the 10th anniversary of the genocide in 2004.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 12 December 2005, Official Report, column 1653W to the right hon. Member for North East Fife (Sir Menzies Campbell), on terrorist suspects (renditions), if he will list the records which were checked by officials in order to provide the answer. 
Dr. Howells: In the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, records were searched under rendition" and extradition". In the Home Office, searches were made under rendition", extradition" and IND casework". In the Ministry of Defence, officials looked for relevant information in records relating to US flights using UK military airfields.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will investigate the case of Theresa McDermott, who was detained by the Israeli authorities on her arrival in Israel on 25 December 2005 and thereafter deported. 
Dr. Howells: Our embassy in Tel Aviv investigated the detention of Theresa McDermott on 25 December 2005. Ms McDermott arrived in Israel for a conference on Celebrating Non Violent Resistance in Bethlehem and was refused entry to Israel because she has been on the black list" since June 2004 due to her participation in a demonstration at Bidu and her alleged connection to the International Solidarity Movement. Ms McDermott appealed the decision but, as the appeal was held after the date of the conference, the appeal therefore became obsolete. She was deported on 2 January 2006.
Ms McDermott has previously tried to enter the Occupied Territories in May 2005 and was refused for the same reasons. In June 2005, Our Deputy Head of Mission wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Ms McDermott's behalf, asking for her to be allowed to enter Israel.
Ian Pearson: The principal human rights treaties which prohibit torture to which both the United Kingdom and the United States are parties are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The UK is party to the European Convention on Human Rights. The UK has also ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture and signed the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, both procedural treaties that establish visiting bodies which monitor states' compliance with their treaty obligations.
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