FOREIGN AFFAIRS – SIMON MANN – 19 February 2008

Dr Julian Lewis: Having served his sentence in Zimbabwe, my constituent, Mr. Simon Mann, has been illegally handed over by Zimbabwe to a dictator in Equatorial Guinea who has promised to sodomise him, skin him alive and drag him through the streets of the capital city. What steps can the Government take against Zimbabwe for the outrageous breach of my constituent's human rights when he was handed over before his appeal procedures were completed, and what assurance can there be for –

[Mr Speaker: Order. I think that the Secretary of State will have got the point by now.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband): I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree that our first priority is Mr. Mann's immediate welfare and the legal case against him. That is why we have put such emphasis on consular access, which has now been granted, and on making representations to the Government of Equatorial Guinea in the UK. I am pleased that we have received assurances from the Equatorial Guinean authorities that Mr. Mann will be treated well in detention. Obviously, we are monitoring that through continued consular access. A number of welfare points were raised during the visit of 12 February. We are taking them up and, within the limits of what we are allowed to disclose by Mr. Mann's family, I would be happy for the hon. Gentleman to see the explanations that we have received. He is right to raise both the humanitarian and the legal sides of the case. They are our current focus, and we can in due course turn to the role of the Government of Zimbabwe once Mr. Mann's future has been determined.]