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Cablegate: Human Rights Vetting for German Military Units

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRL #0656 1401553
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191553Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1247
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BERLIN 000656

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PREL NATO GM
SUBJECT: HUMAN RIGHTS VETTING FOR GERMAN MILITARY UNITS

REF: E-MAIL FROM LTC KRISTINE GOULD HQ USSOCOM TO
EMBASSY BERLIN DAO 27 MARCH 2008

1. (U) THIS CABLE RESPONDS TO REF E-MAIL REQUEST TO CONDUCT
HUMAN RIGHTS VETTING, AS REQUIRED BY THE LEAHY AMENDMENT, OF
TWO GERMAN MILITARY UNITS THAT PLAN TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL
SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES (ISOF) WEEK TRAINING IN TAMPA,
FLORIDA, 19-23 MAY 2008.

2. (U) AMEMBASSY BERLIN POSSESSES NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OF
GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE GERMAN KOMMANDO
SPEZIALKRAFTE (KSK) OR GERMAN SEALS AS MID-MAY 2008.

3. (U) WHILE THERE IS NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OF GROSS
VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS BY THE KSK, POST NOTES THAT THE
KSK HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF COMMITTING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN
JANUARY 2002 AGAINST GERMAN-BORN TURKISH CITIZEN MURAT KURNAZ
AT A U.S. PRISON CAMP LOCATED OUTSIDE OF KANDAHAR,
AFGHANISTAN. THE CASE HAS BEEN UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE
GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTRY, A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE, AND
GERMAN PROSECUTORS. ACCORDING TO MEDIA REPORTS, KURNAZ HAS
ALLEGED THAT TWO KSK MEMBERS GRABBED HIS HAIR AND SMASHED HIS
HEAD AGAINST THE FLOOR DURING HIS INTERROGATION AT THE U.S.
CAMP IN KANDAHAR. KURNAZ IDENTIFIED TWO KSK MEMBERS WHO WERE
STATIONED IN KANDAHAR AT THE TIME, BOTH OF WHOM HAVE BEEN
ACCUSED OF INFLICTING "GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM WHILE ON DUTY,"
ACCORDING TO GERMAN PROSECUTORS. KURNAZ LATER SERVED FOUR
YEARS AT THE GUANTANAMO BAY DETENTION FACILITY BEFORE BEING
RELEASED IN AUGUST 2006.

4. (U) EMBASSY BERLIN POCS ARE POL/MIL-EXTERNAL MICHAEL
CHRISTIE AND OFFICE MANAGER NADIA COVINGTON, (49) (30)
8305-2222 AND (49) (30) 8305-2230. CLASSIFIED EMAILS:
CHRISTIEMD@STATE.SGOV.GOV AND COVINGTONNT@STATE.SGOV.GOV
RESPECTIVELY.
TIMKEN JR

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