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Cablegate: Libya: Request for Access to Repatriated Guantanamo

VZCZCXRO2425
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0137 0511201
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O R 201201Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3109
INFO RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 3588

S E C R E T TRIPOLI 000137

SIPDIS

SIPDIS, NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/20/2033
TAGS: PTER PREL PHUM PINS KDDG LY
SUBJECT: LIBYA: REQUEST FOR ACCESS TO REPATRIATED GUANTANAMO
DETAINEES

REF: A) STATE 14270, B) USG-GOL DETAINEE TRANSFER MOU DEC 11, 2006, C) TRIPOLI 1060, D) STATE 163691, E) TRIPOLI 723 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.(S/NF) The CDA and P/E Chief conveyed ref A points to Dr. Yusuf Sawani, Executive Director of the Qadhafi Development Foundation, February 19. CDA underscored that it is important that the GOL abide by the assurances it provided to the U.S. regarding treatment of and access to repatriated detainees under the rubric of the USG-GOL Detainee Transfer MOU (ref B).

2.(S/NF) Points below are keyed to ref A tasking points:

-- REGULAR VISITS: Citing the cultural difficulty of keeping any sort of regular schedule in Libya, Sawani threw cold water on the idea of establishing a schedule for regular visits. He stressed that Emboffs could meet with the two returned detainees (Muhammad Abdallah Mansur al-Rimi, ISN 194, and Ben Qumu Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamouda, ISN 557) whenever it was "possible and appropriate". Clarifying, he assured the CDA that the QDF and GOL would facilitate timely access, claiming that visits could be arranged with as little as a day's notice.

-- FAMILY/COUNSEL ACCESS: Responding to the CDA's point encouraging access by counsel and family members to the detainees, Sawani noted that Hamouda (ISN 557) had enjoyed a lengthy family visit within 48 hours of the CDA's meeting with him in December (ref C).

-- LEGAL BASIS FOR DETENTION: Sawani said he was not sure what the legal basis for the continued incarceration of the returned detainees is. He explained that, in general, if a detainee was wanted on specific charges under Libyan law, he would be detained and debriefed by security organizations, and then transferred to judicial authorities to face legal charges. He suggested that if a detainee was not wanted on specific charges under Libyan law, he could be released. He agreed to request that designated Watchdog Committee counterpart Muhammad Tarnesh, Executive Director of the Human Rights Society of Libya, follow up with security officials at the facility at which the detainees are being held to query them regarding the charges against them. He further suggested that P/E Chief, Post's Watchdog Committee representative, contact Tarnesh directly to coordinate follow up. Post is in contact with Tarnesh, who is working to coordinate a meeting with security officials.

-- S/WCI TEAM VISIT: Sawani's comments strongly suggest that dispatching a team to assist in discussions concerning routine access to detainees would not/not be helpful. Post does not recommend such a visit.
STEVENS 0 02/20/2008

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