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Lord Janner of Braunstone asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Approximately £65,000.

Fine Defaulters

Lord Janner of Braunstone asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The information requested is given in the table. Information on fine defaulters, by offence, is published in Prison statistics, England and Wales (Table 1.12 of the 1997 edition, Cm 4017), a copy of which is in the Library.

Receptions of fine defaulters into prisons in England and Wales 1996-98

YearAfter conviction for using a TV without a licenceAll fine defaulters

(1) Provisional figures.

Home Detention Curfew Scheme

Lord Janner of Braunstone asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the timescale for the national implementation of home curfews with electronic monitoring.[HL2353]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Home Detention Curfew scheme, whereby prisoners serving a sentence of over three months, and less than four years, are eligible to spend up to the last two months of the custodial part of their sentence subject to a curfew supported by electronic monitoring, commenced on a national basis on 28 January 1999.

The national roll-out of curfew orders enforced by electronic monitoring as a sentence under the Criminal Justice Act 1991 is scheduled for 1 December 1999.

Trials of curfew orders with electronic monitoring are continuing for juveniles (10-15 year olds), persistent petty offenders and fine defaulters under the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997, and as a condition of bail. No decision has yet been taken on the future of these uses.

17 May 1999 : Column WA10

Northern Ireland: SEN Pupil Numbers

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish data for Northern Ireland showing, for all state primary schools, the percentage of pupils on roll in each of the years 1983 to 1998:

    (a) With Special Educational Needs and with Statements of Special Education Need;

    (b) With Special Educational Needs but without Statements of Special Educational Need; showing data separately for boys, girls and all pupils and including the number of schools and the total number of pupils on roll.[HL2275]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): The available information is as follows:

Percentage of pupils with Statements of Special Educational Need Number Total Number of Pupils
YearBoysGirlsTotalof Schoolson Roll

EU Member States: Second Chamber Membership

The Marquess of Ailesbury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which states of the European Union have second parliamentary chambers with a wholly nominated membership.[HL2328]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): There are no states of the European Union which have a second parliamentary chamber with a wholly nominated membership.

Mr. Abdullah Ocalan

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their latest information on the conditions of confinement and state of health of Mr. Abdullah Ocalan in Turkey; when they expect that his trial will start; and what they consider should be done, and by whom, to make possible a fair trial.[HL2280]

17 May 1999 : Column WA11

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We are aware of reports that Abdullah Ocalan is being kept in solitary confinement in prison. We understand that his lawyers have said that he is in good physical health but that he had lost weight. We will study the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture's report of their visit of 2 March when available.

On 30 April the Turkish authorities announced that trial proceedings are due to start on 31 May.

We have noted the assurances of the Turkish Prime Minister that Mr. Ocalan will receive a fair trial. We are concerned at the reports that Mr. Ocalan's lawyers were attacked on 30 April, and have raised these with the Turkish authorities in London and Ankara. We have asked that members of the Embassy attend the proceedings and are awaiting a response from the relevant authorities.

Rape in Armed Conflict

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their existing knowledge of, and what research they have or will commission into, sponsorship or encouragement by states (or factions within them) of rape during wars or internal violence or to intimidate opposition movements.[HL2361]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The use of rape in armed conflict is an abhorrent practice and a violation of international humanitarian law. Under the newly adopted Statute of the International Criminal Court rape is both a war crime and a crime against humanity.

At the recent UN Commission on Human Rights, the UK tabled a successful resolution extending the mandate of Ms Gay J. McDougall, UN Sub-Commission Special Rapporteur on Systematic Rape, Sexual Slavery and Slavery-Like Practices during Armed Conflict. Ms McDougall's report (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1998/13), which is an in-depth study of the situation of systematic rape, sexual slavery and slavery-like practices during armed conflict, is available as an official UN document, and is accessible through the Library of the House.

We are deeply concerned by all instances of intimidation of opposition movements in violation of internationally accepted human rights standards.

Prisoners Abroad: Visits

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the names of prisoners visited by staff of British diplomatic posts, and visits to prisoners abroad arranged by them for Ministers and Members of Parliament during 1998.[HL2318]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Complete statistics for 1998 are not yet available. We do not keep central records of separate visits arranged for Ministers and Members of Parliament. We are unable to name prisoners because of consular confidentiality.

17 May 1999 : Column WA12

Ahmadiyya Community, Pakistan: Protection

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What further steps they will take, bilaterally and with the European Union, in the light of the recent murder of a member of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan, and the arrest of the leader of the community and a colleague, to urge the Government of Pakistan to restore the human rights of the Ahmadiyya community, in accordance with their international obligations.[HL2390]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We remain concerned about the position of Ahmadis in Pakistan. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan, bilaterally and with EU partners, to respect the rights granted to religious minorities under Pakistan's constitution and the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Satellite Launches: Environmental Impact

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the provisions of the Treaty on the Peaceful Uses of Space cover the need for environmental assessments in the case of the launching of satellites from sea-based platforms on the high seas, close, and therefore possibly damaging, to the Exclusive Economic Zones of States Party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and in areas where fish stocks may be vulnerable to exhaust.[HL2138]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space does not require that environmental impact assessments be carried out for satellite launches from sea-based platforms. However, many states, including the UK and US, have domestic laws which require companies wishing to engage in activities with possible environmental risks to carry out environmental assessments. For example, the recent inaugural launch by the Sea Launch company from a platform in the Pacific Ocean was subject to a detailed and transparently conducted environmental impact assessment in accordance with US law. The assessment concluded that there would be no significant environmental impact.

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