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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Pakistan regarding (a) repeal of the Hudood law and (b) the treatment of rape victims by the justice system. 
Dr. Howells: In December 2005, as EU President, wepresented a de"marche on human rights to the Government of Pakistan. The de"marche called for the repeal or modification of the Hudood laws, to prevent victims of rape from being wrongly accused of adultery, and significantly improve their ability for access to justice.
We were encouraged by the Federal Shariah Court's announcement in February 2006 that rape victims should not be tried for adultery, and by the government's recent pledge to repeal the Hudood laws. Our high commission in Islamabad continues to raise this issue regularly.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the responsibilities under the Ramallah Agreement of (a) Israel and (b) the Palestinian Authority. 
Dr. Howells: A copy of the Ramallah Agreement in English was placed in the Library of the House on 15 March. It makes clear that the Palestinian Authority was responsible for the safety of our monitors.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his written statement of 20 January 2006, Official Report, column38WS, whether the UK requires the US to seek permission to render detainees via UK territory and airspace, including overseas territories. 
Dr. Howells: Yes. We would expect the US authorities to seek permission to render detainees via UK territory and airspace, including overseas territories, and we will grant permission only if we are satisfied that the rendition would accord with UK law and our international obligations.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the (a) conditions under which detainees are held inside Royal Nepalese Army barracks and (b) access to the Royal Nepalese Army barracks afforded to monitors from the International Committee of the Red Cross; and if he will make a statement. 
In the week commencing 6 March, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced it would resume visits to Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) barracks. The ICRC had previously
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suspended these for about a year after the RNA had not given ICRC officers unhindered access. We assess that access to RNA detention is now satisfactory.
While the RNA has reduced the number of detainees, their conditions remain poor. The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights visits found conditions that amount to degrading and inhuman treatment. This remains of serious concern.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) members and (b) representatives of the government of Sri Lanka concerning their talks with Tamil Eelam in Geneva scheduled for mid April; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on 13 March. I met him on 15 March. We welcomed the first round of talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the Ceasefire Agreement and the agreement to hold further talks in Geneva from 1921 April. The Foreign Minister agreed with us on the importance of all parties fully meeting the commitments that they made at Geneva, essentially to respect and uphold the Ceasefire Agreement, and fully co-operate with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission; to take all necessary measures to ensure no intimidation, acts of violence, abductions or killings; the LTTE to take all necessary measures to ensure no acts of violence against the security forces and police; the Government of Sri Lanka to take all necessary measures in accordance with the Ceasefire Agreement to ensure that no armed group or person other than Government security forces will carry arms or conduct armed operations.
We hope that the series of talks in Geneva can progress sufficiently well to allow early discussion of longer term issues. A permanent settlement is essential to establish a durable peace in Sri Lanka that meets the aspirations of all communities while ensuring a democratic and stable Sri Lanka. A key requirement will be for the LTTE to change course; to end terrorism and violence for good and to commit themselves to respecting human rights and freedom of expression in the areas they control.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the actions of Colonel Karuna in eastern Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. 
The activities of the so-called Karuna faction are a destabilising factor in eastern Sri Lanka. Their violence is no more acceptable than that of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam's (LTTE). It is important for the maintenance of the current ceasefire that their operations and those of all other armed groups cease. I welcome the Government of Sri Lanka's important commitment at talks with the LTTE in Geneva in February to taking all necessary measures to prevent armed groups operating.
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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the UN to introduce sanctions against those suspected of committing crimes against humanity in Darfur. 
Ian Pearson: UN Security Council Resolution 1591 provides for the imposition of travel bans and assets freezes on individuals involved in the Darfur crisis who have committed violations of international law and other atrocities, or who impede the peace process. We are pressing for swift action by the UN Sudan Sanctions Committee to impose such sanctions. Targeted sanctions against individuals will come into force with immediate effect when the UN Sanctions Committee decides to impose them. There should be no impunity for those who violate human rights or impede the peace process in Sudan.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of statements by Jan Pronk regarding the deployment of troops from NATO countries to Darfur, with particular reference to his comments regarding Islamic terrorism. 
Ian Pearson: NATO, through airlift co-ordination and training, is making a valuable contribution to the African Union's Mission in Sudan. We believe that NATO should continue to do so, and see no objection to troops from NATO countries participating in any future UN force in the Sudan.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Governments of (a) China, (b) Russia and (c) India regarding (i) human rights and conflict in and (ii) the trade in oil from Sudan. 
Ian Pearson: We have regular discussions on the conflict in Sudan and human rights with Russia, China and other partners in the United Nation Security Council (UNSC). In his report on Sudan of 20 December 2005, the UN Secretary General called upon Sudan to ensure full transparency of the oil sector as a priority for 2006. This report was discussed by the UNSC on 13 January 2006. At the Sudan Consortium meeting of donors in Paris on 910 March the international community, including the UK, pressed the Government of Sudan to sign up to the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative. The Government of Sudan expressed their interest in doing so, and committed to improving transparency in the oil sector by publishing detailed information on oil production, revenues and transfers to the treasury. We will work with Sudan to ensure this happens. We have not held any recent discussions with India on Sudan.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Russia regarding the (a) sale of arms to Sudan and (b) implications of such sales for peace and human rights in Darfur. 
UN Security Council Resolution 1591 extended the UN arms embargo on Darfur to cover all parties to the conflict, including the Government of Sudan. The UK believes that the arms embargo should
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be expanded to cover the whole of Sudan, in line with the EU arms embargo that has been in place since 1994. We have held regular discussions on this subject with Russia and our other Security Council partners, and will continue to take discussions on this forward in the Security Council.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the forced closure of the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO) in Zallingei and Geneina, West Darfur and the suspension of all humanitarian efforts there; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: The Government of Sudan issued notice to the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO) to suspend its work in West Darfur on 11 March 2006. This case was raised at a meeting on 13 March between the Government of Sudan and the international community, including the UK, on human rights. The UN have subsequently made formal representations to the Government of Sudan on this issue.
We have consistently made clear to the Government of Sudan that humanitarian agencies must be given unimpeded access to conduct their work. My right hon.Friend the Secretary of State for International Development discussed the issue of humanitarian access with the Government of Sudan during his visit to Sudan on 2123 February. We will continue to follow this case closely.
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