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Cablegate: Referral of Interpreter Essam Hammoudi Ahmed

VZCZCXRO0951
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #1116 0901519
ZNY EEEEE ZZH
P 311519Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0477
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS E F T O BAGHDAD 001116

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR PRM/A; DHS FOR BCIS HEADQUARTERS; CAIRO FOR
REFCOORD; AMMAN FOR REFCOORD AND CONSULAR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/31/2017
TAGS: PREF PHUM IZ
SUBJECT: REFERRAL OF INTERPRETER ESSAM HAMMOUDI AHMED

REF: STATE 326248

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY.

1. Embassy Baghdad would like to refer Essam Hammoudi Ahmed
to the US Refugee Admissions Program.

2. (SBU) Biographical information:

Principal applicant

NAME: Essam Hammoudi Ahmed
DOB: July 1, 1980
POB: Iraq
Passport Number: S 1647887
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Single

Dependents: None

3. (SBU) Description of persecution claim, as reported by
the applicant himself: Essam started working as an
interpreter for US and Coalition Forces (CF) in Muthanna
Province in 2003. He also worked in other capacities for the
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in positions in which
he interacted with many members of the local community on
behalf of the CPA, such as assistant project manager for
CPA-funded programs. As a result, he was seen as a close
collaborator of Coalition Forces and the CPA. In December of
2006, leaflets accusing him of being a CIA agent were
distributed in a local market in his hometown of Samawah. In
April of 2004 armed men searched his parents' house (where he
lived) looking for him. In July of 2004, a list of
interpreters working with CF was distributed in a market,
together with threats against them. In May of 2006, armed
men found him at home, put a gun to his head, and warned him
to stop working for CF. Also in May, an Iraqi legal advisor
for the CPA was murdered. In June, July and August of 2006,
Essam received telephone calls threatening him with death
almost daily. He changed his phone number various times, but
the threats continued. In June of 2006, an interpreter
working for the Japanese Army was shot and killed in front of
his house in Samawah. Police reportedly witness the murder,
but took no action to detain the perpetrators or take the
injured interpreter to a hospital. In July of 2006 another
interpreter was murdered in Muthanna, and another one in
September of 2006. Essam was a close friend of the
interpreter killed in September and saw his dead body, which
was shot in the head. In August and September of 2006, Essam
received written threats, left in his car windshield and in
front of his parents' house. The door of the house was
painted on with dead threats against Essam in November of
2006. Essam has continued to receive threats in different
forms until the present. In February of 2007, he was shown a
detailed hit-list with his name on it. Essam believes that
the threats are coming from Shia militias, which are very
strong in southern Iraq. In February of 2007 militias broke
into his house looking for him again, at a time when Essam
had left in disguised to a local internet cafe.

4. (SBU) Justification for resettlement: Essam reports that
he lives in virtual seclusion, moving every few days to a
different house to stay with friends and relatives. He
hardly ventures to the street or any public venue. He is
under a great deal of anxiety, believing that he can be
targeted at any time. He is also deeply upset by the death
of his colleague and friend in September of 2006 (Note:
Essam choke in tears when, speaking on the phone with the
Embassy Refugee Coordinator, he recalled images of his friend
murdered. End note). Essam is too afraid to work, and has
been forced to terminate his relationship with his fiancee
because her family could not see a future for him in Iraq.
Essam is favorably known to his former American supervisors,
who called the attention of the Embassy to his situation.

5. (SBU) Financial situation of PA: Principal applicant has
very little financial resources. He invested his savings to
open a computer shop, but the threats made it difficult for
him to take care of his business. He is trying to collect
money from the sale of its small inventory and from family,
in order to go to Syria.

6. (SBU) Name check: Completed. No matching hits.
CROCKER

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