Global Security: Afghanistan and Pakistan - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

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 extradition process.

  The Foreign Affairs Committee would be grateful to know if the above statement represents the view of the FCO's legal advisers.

  I am copying this letter to James Arbuthnot.

2 December 2008

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