On Thursday 19th March, Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, spoke in the House of Commons at Business Questions in support of his constituent, Mr Sandhu, and the treatment of UK nationals held in prisons overseas.
Last month, Sir David visited Mr Lakhbir Sandhu who is currently being detained in Pankrac Prison in Prague. Sir David was accompanied by Lakhbir’s father, Kulbir, and also had a meeting with the British Ambassador to the Czech Republic and Lakhbir’s solicitor.
Recently, Sir David has asked Parliamentary Questions, made representations to British Government Ministers, contacted both the British and Czech Ambassadors, asked for assistance from charitable organisations such as Amnesty International and Prisoners Abroad and now, today, called for a debate when he spoke at Business Questions.
Sir David asked the leader of the House of Commons to “find time for a debate on the treatment of UK nationals held in prisons overseas. Last month, I went with my constituent Mr Sandhu to see his son held in prison in Prague for alleged offenses of fraud. The family very much want the Government to intercede to see if their son can be released on bail.”
In response, the Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Leader of the House said “Consulate staff are providing assistance to Mr Sandhu’s son … we can consider intervening with the local authorities if a detainee is not treated in line with international accepted standards or with consent to raise concerns about mistreatment. However, as the hon. Gentleman will understand the Foreign & Commonwealth Office cannot interfere in the judicial and legal processes of another country. So, we can make representations but we can’t force, but my hon. friend is right to raise this issue.”