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Cablegate: Fathi El-Jahmi's Son Asks Embassy to Stop Visiting Him

VZCZCXRO4961
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0506 1791242
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 271242Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3605
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0842
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0520
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4114

C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000506

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG AND DRL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 6/26/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR LY
SUBJECT: FATHI EL-JAHMI'S SON ASKS EMBASSY TO STOP VISITING HIM

REF: A) TRIPOLI 401, B) TRIPOLI 411, C) TRIPOLI 478 (NOTAL) CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, U.S. Embassy - Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 1. (C) Post received on June 23 a letter addressed to P/E Chief, which had been sent via Libya's domestic postal service. The handwritten letter (text below), dated May 22, was signed by Muhammad el-Jahmi, the eldest son of detained human rights activist Fathi el-Jahmi. Begin text of letter: Dear (P/E Chief): If your visit is motivated by concern and care for the condition of our father, Mr. Fathi el-Jahmi, we believe we are more concerned and care more for him than you. If your visits to him are merely to check on him and the status of his health, we members of his family visit him continuously and can inform you that he is in good health. I wish to inform you that your frequent visits to him in the hospital are causing us problems; I urge you stop visiting our father. On behalf of Fathi el-Jahmi's family, Muhammad el-Jahmi End text of letter 2. (C) As reported ref A, P/E Chief attempted to visit Fathi el-Jahmi on May 14 to check on his welfare and whereabouts. P/E Chief encountered three members of el-Jahmi's family - son Muhammad and daughters Lamia and Hana. Muhammad el-Jahmi, clearly unhappy that an Emboff was present outside his father's room at the Tripoli Medical Center, declined to speak with P/E Chief. In a brief conversation, Lamia el-Jahmi told P/E Chief that the el-Jahmi family, and Muhammad in particular as the eldest son, were under "tremendous pressure" from officials of the Government of Libya (GOL) and the Qadhafi Development Foundation (QDF). The family believed contact with Emboffs was "very dangerous" for them and for Fathi el-Jahmi. The family's visit on May 14 had required several weeks to orchestrate. Muhammad had been particularly anxious to avoid giving the appearance that the family had coordinated its visits with the Embassy - something GOL and QDF officials had warned him against doing - and the coincidental visit by P/E Chief upset him greatly. Lamia confirmed that the family had received threats. 3. (C) Comment: Although Muhammad el-Jahmi made it clear on May 14 that he was unhappy that P/E Chief's attempted visit coincided with that of the family, it is not clear whether the letter above was written under duress. The letter refers to "continuous" visits by the family to Fathi el-Jahmi; however, before May 14, the family had been unable to visit el-Jahmi since April 3 and had in fact indirectly requested Post's assistance in facilitating a visit. Qadhafi Development Foundation Executive Director Dr. Yusuf Sawani and senior regime figure Abdullah Sanussi used identical phraseology - " ... frequent visits ... " in complaining to Post that P/E Chief had visited el-Jahmi too often, warning that continued efforts to do so would have consequences for the broader bilateral U.S.-Libya relationship (refs B, C). Post suggests that NEA/MAG and/or DRL reach out to Fathi el-Jahmi's Boston-based brother, also named Muhammad el-Jahmi, to confirm whether son Muhammad was pressured to write the letter in an attempt by the GOL and QDF to forestall further visits. End comment. STEVENS

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