We have a received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following information relating to a flight on 6 January 2009 to remove failed Afghan asylum seekers from the UK:
- Number of detainees on board
- Number of guards on board
- Whether the number of detainees and guards changed in Azerbaijan when the flight stopped for the onward journey to Kabul.
We released responses to questions 1-3 on 7 December 2010.
Information regarding a flight to Azerbaijan to remove Afghan asylum seekers.
1. This flight took off with eight detainees on board. Is this correct?
I can confirm that the number of detainees on board was 8. This information was previously released to you in our response of 22 July 2010.
2. It took off with between eighteen and twenty guards on board. Is this correct?
The number of guards on each flight is an operational decision taken for each flight on its merit. I can confirm that for this flight there were 17 escorts including 1 medic.
3. In Azerbaijan the detainees changed planes for the onward journey to Kabul - to a Russian Airbus - and now with different, (but the same number of), guards and the same number of passengers/detainees. Is this correct?
The detainees changed to another flight, in Baku, with different escorts who were provided by the second airline. We do not have a record of the number of escorts on this flight.