Human Rights: Consular Services — [Dame Caroline Dinenage in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall am 3:20 pm ar 16 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Ceidwadwyr, Chingford and Woodford Green 3:20, 16 Ebrill 2024

I am concerned, because rather than run away, Kara-Murza went back to Russia to make the case against the brutality of the war on Ukraine, rather like Jimmy Lai did in his case. He is now incarcerated on trumped-up charges, which we have known for a long time. He is very ill, and his likely death is very much at the forefront of our mind because of the murder of Navalny when he became the main target. To that end, I note that the Minister’s predecessor, my hon. Friend Leo Docherty, said that

“we do not and would not countenance a policy of prisoner swaps.”—[Official Report, 19 February 2024;
Vol. 745, c. 495.]

I ask the Minister to review that, because I do not think it is correct. That process has been used to obtain the release of British citizens in the past, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and, I remind him, Natan Sharansky and Vladimir Bukovsky during the Soviet period. I am concerned that it will come down to that, as the only method we have available. He may not survive long if we do not do something about it. I would be grateful if the Minister took that away and asked his officials whether we will engage on this, if necessary, with a prisoner swap.