Correspondence between the Scottish Government and Reem Alsalem: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Provide copies of any correspondence, or any records of any meetings or discussions, held by the Scottish Government related to the letter sent to Reem Alsalem, the UN rapporteur on violence against women and girls, by a series of Scottish women's groups.

The letter I am referring to was sent to Ms Alsalem on November 29 and was signed by representatives of Engender, JustRight Scotland, the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre, Scottish Women’s Aid, Amnesty International Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland.

There is a copy of the letter here

This should include, but not be exclusive to, any correspondence with the groups regarding the commissioning or writing of the letter, any discussion of what should be included in it, any response from the Scottish Government sent to the groups following the sending of the letter, any advance warning of the letter's publication sent by the groups to the Scottish Government, or any internal discussion of the letter within the Scottish Government.


I enclose a copy of the information you requested here, an excerpt from an internal email between Scottish Government officials dated 28 November 2022.

"For awareness.

Amnesty International and a number of civil society partners intend to write to the UNSR in response to the issues raised in her letter. [Name Redacted] in Amnesty’s Scottish office is leading.

They will copy the letter to the Cab Sec and to the EHRCJ committee. I’ve asked for a copy of the text once they have agreed it and also for a heads up if they are planning any media activity.

[Name Redacted]

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested, because it is personal data of a third party, in that it consists of personal information that may identify an individual and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

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