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17 Jul 2002 : Column WA151

Written Answers

Wednesday 17th July 2002.

British Council: Global Health Issues

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How the reorganisation of the British Council will ensure that the role of Britain in global health concerns will be strengthened.[HL5093]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos): Under the reorganisation of the British Council, global health issues will be further strengthened by their integration into the council's broader governance portfolio. This will include areas such as health sector reform, child protection and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Current work will be underpinned by the recruitment of a health professional at the senior management level and a senior practising surgeon on a consultancy basis.

The British Council's science department will continue its work in the field of bio-medicine.


Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider the human rights situation in Algeria to have improved since the European Union signed an association agreement with Algeria on 22 April, given that the agreement contains a clause requiring the contracting parties to promote and protect human rights.[HL5113]

Baroness Amos: The signature of the EU/Algeria Association Agreement on 22 April marked the conclusion of negotiations between the EU and Algeria. The next stage is ratification of the agreement by all member states, the European Community and Algeria. Only after all have ratified will the agreement enter into force. This therefore means that neither

the trade provisions nor the other provisions of the agreement are at present binding. However, signature of the association agreement means that when the agreement does enter into force the EU will be in a position to monitor closely adherence to the human rights principles laid out in the text of the association agreement:

    "Relations between the Parties, as well as all provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this agreement".

The agreement provides for dialogue through the creation of an EU-Algeria Association Council at ministerial level and association committee at senior

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official level. These bodies will follow up and monitor the agreement on a regular basis, including, of course, respect for human rights.

The ratification process also provides member states with the opportunity to raise their concerns about human rights in Algeria.

South Asia

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What decisions were taken by the meeting of G8 Foreign Ministers on 12 to 13 June with regard to the international community's goal of reducing the levels of tension in South Asia and realising more stable relations between India and Pakistan.[HL5115]

Baroness Amos: At their meeting on 12–13 June,

G8 Foreign Ministers set out their commitment to continuing to work with India and Pakistan to deal with the fundamental problems underlying the current crisis and to sustaining co-ordinated diplomatic efforts in the region.

The international community remains fully engaged in seeking further de-escalation and in encouraging India and Pakistan to work towards a lasting settlement of their differences.

Prisoners: Self-inflicted Deaths

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many suicides and how many attempts at suicide there have been inside HM Prisons in each of the last four six-month periods for which figures are available.[HL5065]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The figures requested are set out in the tables.

Self-inflicted deaths 2000–02

YearFirst half (Jan–June)Second half (July–Dec)

* As at 5 July 2002.

It is important to note that the Prison Service uses the term "self-inflicted deaths" to refer to all apparent suicides.

Attempted suicide/self-harm incidents 2000–02

YearFirst half (Jan–June)Second half (July–Dec)

* As at 5 July 2002.

The Prison Service currently makes no distinction between incidents of self-harm and attempted suicides.

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Prisoners: Transfers

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they are taking to ensure that next of kin are notified when prisoners are moved to another prison so that visits will not be missed.[HL5066]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: For confidentiality reasons, there are no plans to make it a requirement for the Prison Service to inform a prisoner's next of kin when a transfer takes place. Subject to security considerations, prisoners are normally notified of their transfer in advance.

It is a mandatory requirement for prisoners to be allowed to make telephone calls immediately on reception to a new establishment so that they can inform their next of kin of their new location if they wish to do so. They also have access to telephones on each association period and may also ask prison staff to contact their next of kin on their behalf. In addition, there is provision for prisoners to be issued with special letters, over and above any statutory entitlement, which may be sent at public expense, either before or immediately after the transfer takes place.

Ms Lindis Percy

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the cost of detaining Ms Lindis Percy in custody for 11 days following her arrest on a charge of aggravated trespass; what was the cost to the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts of dealing with the case.[HL5080]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Ms Lindis Percy was remanded into custody at Holloway Prison on 4 March 2002 and was bailed on 12 March 2002, a total of nine days. The annual cost of holding a prisoner at Holloway in 2001–02 was £40,020. On this basis the cost of detaining Ms Lindis Percy in Holloway for nine days is estimated to be £991.

Generally, Crown Prosecution Services costs for specific cases are not available, as records are not kept to this level of detail. Averages of various case types are kept, however. The average cost of a case prepared for summary trial is £395. The approximate cost for the court time in this case was £600. This does not include legal aid costs or other agencies' costs. The total cost is estimated to be £1,986.

Boris Project

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their view of the Boris Project (Blakenhurst Offender Rehabilitation and Resettlement in Solihull); and where they intend to continue to fund it. [HL5087]

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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Government Office for the West Midlands has funded this project in order to provide the potential for seamless throughcare and action planning from the point of arrest through to resettlement. The project has been awarded funding under the Partnership Development Fund of some £238,000 up until the end of 2002–03. Feedback so far from the scheme has been encouraging, Funding beyond 2002–03 will depend on availability of funding following decisions on the Spending Review.

Terrorism Arrests

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Mr M Karayilan, Mr K Ceren, Mr O Gecsoyler and Mr N Noori, arrested on 15 March, and since held in HM Prison Belmarsh, have been charged with offences; if so, what offences; whether bail has been refused, and, if so, on what grounds. [HL5193]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I can confirm that Oruc Gecsoyler, Kahraman Ceren, Mehemet Karayilan and Noori Noori have been arrested and charged with offences under the Terrorism Act 2000. A trial date has been set for 8 August 2002. As this matter is sub judice it would not be right for me to comment further.

Rehabilitation of Offenders

Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 intends to report. [HL5384]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 has completed its work. The report, Breaking the Circle, is published today. A copy has been placed in the Library.

European Arrest Warrant

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list the offences covered by the European arrest warrant; and whether they will indicate which, if any, are not offences in the United Kingdom. [HL4893]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): The framework decision on the European arrest warrant can apply to all offences which carry a maximum sentence of at least 12 months' imprisonment or, in conviction cases, where a sentence of at least four months' imprisonment has been imposed.

The United Kingdom Government are not responsible for the criminal justice systems of other European Union (EU) member states. It is therefore not possible to provide a list of offences which will be covered.

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