- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
Thursday 22 October 2015 there was an Urgent Question on Human Rights in China. I asked the Minister:
Valerie Vaz (Walsall South) (Lab): I, too, congratulate the hon. Member for Congleton (Fiona Bruce) on allowing the House to discuss this matter. The Minister says that he wants to move forward, so will he report back to the House on why particular lawyers and the artist Ai Weiwei were detained?
Mr Swire: On the situation with Ai Weiwei, the Home Office spokesman said that the Home Secretary was not consulted over the decision to grant Mr Ai a one-month visa. She has reviewed the case and instructed Home Office officials to issue a full six-month visa. We have written to Mr Ai, apologising for the inconvenience caused. No doubt, the hon. Lady will have been to see the exhibition that is on not a million miles from here. If she wishes to raise other specific cases with me, I am always happy to see her. In advance of the Chinese state visit, I met a lot of pressure groups and non-governmental organisations in the Foreign Office who came to raise their concerns with me and my officials.