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Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the division of responsibilities is between (a) the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan, (b) the Afghan Special Narcotics Force and (c) the Counter Narcotics Criminal Justice Task Force. 
The primary purpose of the counter-narcotics Criminal Justice Task Force and the Central Narcotics Tribunal is to investigate and try those arrested on drugs-related charges, based on the processes defined in the Counter-Narcotics Law of Afghanistan (2006). Article 34 of the Counter Narcotics law defines the mandate of the Counter Narcotics Tribunal under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department has received on alleged breaches of (a) arms embargos and (b) sanctions regimes by Michael Harridine; and if he will make a statement. 
December 2000 Report of the Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1306, in relation to Sierra Leone (paragraph 227); and
December 2000 Final report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Angola Sanctions established pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1295 (paragraphs 142-143).
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the progress made on voter list assembly and electoral reform in Bangladesh. 
Dr. Howells: When my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Bangladesh last week, he heard from the Chief Election Commissioner of Bangladesh that 36 million voters out of a total of approximately 80 million have now been registered. It is expected that the draft voter list will be ready by late June/July. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary stressed to the Chief Adviser of the caretaker Government, and in his public comments, the absolute necessity of holding free and fair elections by December 2008, in accordance with the caretaker Government's roadmap to elections.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the (a) imprisonment of journalists and (b) other human rights violations in Bangladesh. 
Dr. Howells: There have been reports from Bangladesh of the arrest of journalists, including Jahangir Alam Akash. Our High Commissioner raised his case when EU Heads of Mission in Dhaka met the Foreign Affairs Adviser in December 2007. Mr. Akash is currently on bail. When my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Bangladesh last week, he spoke publicly of the need for adherence to basic standards of human rights. He reiterated the importance that Britain attaches to strong democratic institutions, including a free press.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Bangladesh on its treatment of trade unionists, with particular reference to Mehedi Hasan; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not made representations to the caretaker Government of Bangladesh on the specific issue of the treatment of trade unionists. We consistently emphasise to the caretaker Government the need to balance concerns for stability and security with respect for individuals' rights and freedoms, democratic processes and the rule of law.
We are aware that Mr. Hasan was arrested on 24 January in connection with demonstrations by garment workers in the Mirpur area of Dhaka on 14 to 15 January and of reports of 100-150 people injured. Mr. Hasan was released on 3 February and all charges against him have been dropped.
Meg Munn [holding answer 7 February 2008]: The security situation in Chad remains unstable following rebel incursions into the capital, N'Djamena, on 2 February. As of 15 February, the security situation in Chad is calmer, with Chadian rebel groups having retreated from N'Djamena. However, conditions on the ground have been changing rapidly. The UN estimates that over 30,000 people were forced to flee into neighbouring Cameroon as a result of the fighting, though many are now returning. There have been eye-witness reports of widespread looting in N'Djamena.
The UK has supported the UN in condemning attempts to seize power by force in Chad and in urging all regional states to abide by previous agreements with regard to respect for and securing of their common borders. The UN also supported the African Union in demanding an immediate end to the violence and in appointing Libyan and Congolese mediators to initiate efforts aimed at seeking a lasting solution.
the Chadian and the Sudanese governments to abstain from any action that could further destabilise the current situation whilst exercising the utmost restraint and settling differences through dialogue and diplomatic channels.
The UK has taken every opportunity to underline the need for re-establishing political dialogue, for example in my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN's, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, contacts at the African Union Summit with African and other interlocutors including President Bashir of Sudan.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1850-51W, on the Chevening scholarship programme, whether he plans to reduce the number of Chevening scholarships available. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Wikipedia entries have been (a) created and (b) amended (i) by (A) special advisers, (B) Ministers and (C) communications officials and (ii) from IP addresses of (1) special advisers, (2) Ministers and (3) communications officials in (x) his Department and (y) its agencies since August 2005. 
Meg Munn: No Wikipedia entries have been created or amended by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Special Advisers; FCO Ministers; or FCO communications officials, whether from IP addresses of Special Advisers; Ministers or communications officials in the FCO or its agencies, since August 2005.
use resources only for the authorised public purposes for which they are provided
make sure public money and other resources are used properly and efficiently.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to support the International Foundation for Election Systems in relation into the standards of electoral practice and democracy in other countries. 
Meg Munn: The UK is committed to promoting democratic principles around the world. Our approach is grounded in our upholding universal human rights standards, to which all countries are bound, giving firm support to democratic institutions, good governance and the rule of law.
We welcome and support the work the Hansard electoral society is doing to improve standards of electoral practices abroad. We work closely with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Electoral Reform International Services who are also active in this field.
The UK participates most actively in international observation activities organised by the EU and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. We also participate in Election Observation Missions organised by the UN, Commonwealth and other groups. We frequently provide technical and administrative expertise to the organisers of these observation missions, as well as sending UK observers.
Further information on the Governments work on human rights, democracy and governance can be found
in the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (FCO) Annual Report on Human Rights, which is available at
Copies of the report are also available in the Library of the House. In addition, the FCO and the Department for International Development (DFID) jointly launched a DFID publication last summer, entitled Governance, Development and Democratic Politics which highlighted the value we jointly place on democratic politics as a set of principles and values which ensure that differences can be negotiated peacefully and the views of all heard.
Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many visa applications were made with the use of a false identity in the last two years for which data are available, broken down by nationality of applicant. 
Dr. Howells: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not record such data. Information could be obtained only by comparing individual visa application forms with Home Office records and this would incur disproportionate cost.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) representations and (b) discussions he has had on a solidarity clause on mutual assistance between EU member states in the event of terrorist attacks or natural disasters; and if he will make a statement. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the powers which the European Public Prosecutor would have in respect of UK citizens. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: A European Public Prosecutor would have no power in the UK unless we opted-in to a proposal to establish one, and we have no plans to do so. If other member states decide there is a case for a European Public Prosecutor, they are free to go ahead by enhanced co-operation, but the Prosecutor would have no role in the UK.
There are in addition three Diplomatic Service officers seconded to the General Secretariat of the Council and one to the European Parliament. Other Government Departments also second staff to the European Commission.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of electricity supply into Gaza; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The Government remain deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in Gaza. In the current season the Gaza strip requires at least 230 megawatts (MW) of power daily. The total it currently receives, when fuel supplies to the Gaza power station are not interrupted, is around 192 MW, of which approximately 55 MW is provided by the Gaza Power Generating Company (GPGC), 120 MW by Israel and 17 MW by Egypt.
The electricity and fuel supply in recent weeks has been erratic, primarily because of the decision by the Government of Israel on 17 January to suspend all fuel deliveries into Gaza. On 20 January, the GPGC stopped producing power when its reserves became too low to continue. The UNs Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs has stated that during this time, the majority of the Gaza strip had no electricity for at least eight hours per day. Many areas suffered power cuts of up to 16 hours. Electricity cuts in the Gaza strip remain at an average of eight hours daily.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the composition and role of the EU border monitoring mission at Rafah is; and whether changes are planned to that role following recent breaches of the border crossing from Gaza. 
David Miliband: The EU Border Assistance Mission was established on the basis of 15 November 2005 agreement on movement and access reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Its role is to provide a third party presence at the Rafah crossing point.
On 13 June 2007, and following Hamas's take over of Gaza, the mission declared a temporary suspension of operations at the Rafah crossing point. It has, however, maintained its full operational capability and remained ready to monitor, verify and evaluate handling of the border crossing as soon as agreement can be reached to re-open it.
The mission includes about 41 police officers and personnel, 29 of them internationally seconded from 15 EU member states, three internationally contracted, and eight locally contracted in addition to the Head of Mission.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support the introduction of an international convention which explicitly recognises gay rights as essential human rights; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The Government have a strong record on promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and will continue to work with both foreign partners and domestic organisations to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people throughout the world. The Government judge that there is not sufficient consensus globally to justify pursuing an international convention at present; though it is willing to work for the engagement of countries which would produce a worthwhile such instrument.
In the meantime, the Government consider that it can pursue equality and non-discrimination through existing human rights mechanisms, through multilateral action with like-minded partners and bilaterally. The Government consider engaging positively in any mechanism which promote these rights.
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