Letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign
and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office from
the Chairman of the Committee
As you will recall, on 29 October the Foreign
Affairs and Defence Committees jointly took oral evidence from
you and from John Hutton on the subject of "Iraq and Afghanistan".
One issue which arose in the questioning was that
of the treatment of individuals detained by British forces (at
Questions 22-25 in the transcript). In a letter copied to me,
John Hutton subsequently wrote to James Arbuthnot expanding on
some of the answers given.
He stated that:
I [...] want to take this opportunity to confirm
our legal position with regard to detainees. The UK does not have
legal obligations towards the treatment of individuals we have
detained once they have been transferred to the custody of another
state, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan or through the normal judicial
The Foreign Affairs Committee would be grateful
to know if the above statement represents the view of the FCO's
I am copying this letter to James Arbuthnot.
2 December 2008