Steve McCabe – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Steve McCabe on 2016-01-12.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reasons his Department has decided not to include Saudi Arabia in its Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

Mr David Lidington

The criteria used in 2010 to draw up the list of priority countries within the “HMG Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty 2010-2015” are set out in that document. The previous Government decided that limited resources should focus on countries ready to engage in a dialogue about capital punishment likely to lead to reform. Many of the countries prioritised in 2010 have implemented reforms in the intervening five years. Saundi Arabia is included in the 2015 Annual Human Rights Report as a country of concern, primarily because of its use of the death penalty. We do not intend to publish a new strategy specific to the death penalty; but we will be publishing a strategy for the FCO’s Human Rights and Democracy Programme Fund on 18 January, which will show how work to abolish the death penalty is important under all three of the strategy’s new themes. The FCO’s death penalty-related work will also be covered in future instalments of the FCO’s Annual Human Rights Report.