Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Baroness Uddin Excerpts
Thursday 22nd October 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg (Con) [V]
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My Lords, I am afraid I have nothing further to add to my previous comments, which were to reassure noble Lords that we do regularly raise human rights issues with the UAE. We have a close relationship with them, and we will continue to raise these issues as and when we are able to.

Baroness Uddin Portrait Baroness Uddin (Non-Afl)
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My Lords, in 2006, my noble and learned friend Lord Falconer said that the existence of Guantanamo was a “shocking affront to … democracy.” Our illegal and immoral wars, causing untold deaths and mayhem in Iraq and elsewhere in the region, are a humiliating stain on our history. This screams out the question: could our Government have done more at that time to prevent the construction of what the man who was asked to construct it, US Marine Major-General Lehnert, described as the

“most notorious prison … that should never have been opened”,

and which was created alongside other global detention centres to hold enemy combatants regarded as not suitable for prosecution?

I am deeply disappointed and disheartened by the Minister’s response. If there have been no dialogues, can our Government ensure that those due for transfer will receive proper and independent legal representation and due care throughout the justice process and on their release? Surely, if this Government can lead in enabling justice, we may redeem some sense of international honour and good will.

Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg (Con) [V]
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My Lords, the UK Government’s long-standing position is that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay should close. We will continue to engage with the US Government on this issue, as we do on a range of national security issues in the context of our joint determination to tackle international terrorism and combat violent extremism.