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'Real concern' over Thai probe into murders of Britons

Foreign minister Hugo Swire has said there is "real concern" in the UK over the Thai investigation into the murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

Mr Swire summoned the Thai Chargé d’Affaires to the UK, Mr. Nadhavathna Krishnamra, to raise the issue.

Mr Swire stressed that there was a real concern in the UK about how the investigation has been handled by the Thai authorities. He said that it was crucial for the investigation to be conducted in a fair and transparent way.

Mr Swire emphasised how important it was that the UK and Hannah and David’s families received regular updates on the investigation’s progress.

He also noted his concern about the way that the police had engaged with the media on the case and reiterated that the UK police stood ready to assist with the investigation and subsequent legal process.

– foreign office statement

Foreign Office seeks UN resolution to freeze ISIL assets

The Foreign Office has tweeted that it will be pushing for a resolution to freeze the assets of the Islamist group ISIL when the UN Security Council meets tonight.


Foreign Office advises against all travel to Kurdistan

The Foreign Office has advised against all travel to the areas of Iraq "affected by recent fighting", including the Kurdistan Region.

"Those British nationals already present in the Kurdistan Region should take precautions to remove themselves from areas close to the conflict," the travel advice reads.

Iraqi security forces and volunteers take part in a mission to secure an area from Isil militants. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

The Foreign Office has also advised against "all but essential travel" to the rest of Iraq.

Family of British hostage freed in Yemen ask for privacy

The family of a British man who has been released after being held hostage in Yemen have asked for privacy as they wait to be reunited.

A Foreign Office spokesman said Mike Harvey was released after the Yemeni government engaged with tribal intermediaries.

He added: "We are grateful to the government for their efforts and support."

The teacher was abducted on his way from an educational institute on February 12.


Foreign Office: Damaged records 'recently discovered'

The Foreign Office said it was only recently discovered that records of flights passing through an overseas territory used by the US for extraordinary rendition had been lost to "water damage".

A spokeswoman said:

The British Indian Ocean Territory administration is responsible for records of flights on Diego Garcia and they are investigating the full extent of the damage, how many records and what information is affected.

The damage was only recently discovered so it is unknown how exactly or when it occurred.

Foreign Office accused of cover-up over 'water damage'

The Foreign Office has been accused of a cover-up after records of flights passing through an overseas territory used by the US for extraordinary rendition had been lost to "water damage".

The US has admitted using Diego Garcia for flights as part of its extraordinary rendition programme for terror suspects on two occasions in 2002.

File photograph of Diego Garcia. Credit: Reuters

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds told MPs that only "limited records" for 2002 were available, due to the damage the files had suffered.

The disclosure that records had been lost came in response to a question from Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group who requested a list of flights which passed through Diego Garcia from January 2002 to January 2009.

Foreign Office wants Sudan appeals process 'sped up'

The Foreign Office have said they are putting more pressure on the Sudanese government to release Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man in the country.

Mark Simmonds, Minister for Africa, has said the UK government wants the appeals process in Khartoum "sped up".

Simmonds also said that Meriam should be released from prison on "medical grounds" after giving birth.

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