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Cablegate: Libyan Leader Author of Hard Line On Detained Human Rights

VZCZCXRO7396
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0515 1831608
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O P 011608Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3617
INFO RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 0532
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0698
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0843
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0521
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4126

S E C R E T TRIPOLI 000515

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG AND DRL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 7/1/2018
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL PINR LY
SUBJECT: LIBYAN LEADER AUTHOR OF HARD LINE ON DETAINED HUMAN RIGHTS
ACTIVIST EL-JAHMI

REF: A) TRIPOLI 478 (NOTAL), B) TRIPOLI 506 CLASSIFIED BY: Chris Stevens, CDA, U.S. Embassy - Tripoli, Dept of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (c), (d) 1. (C) In a meeting with MFA Secretary for the Americas Dr. Ahmed Fituri on July 1, the CDA asked whether Fituri had pursued discussions with key GOL elements about the possibility of facilitating the release of detained human rights activist Fathi el-Jahmi. In an earlier meeting, Fituri had said he would suggest that National Security Adviser Dr. Muatassim al-Qadhafi (one of the Libyan leader's sons) endorse a plan to release el-Jahmi and subsidize his travel outside Libya for needed medical treatment as a humanitarian gesture. 2. (S/NF) Fituri said he had broached the idea with Muatassim, who agreed with the logic of releasing el-Jahmi and agreed to take it up with other elements of the GOL's leadership. Muatassim later told Fituri that senior regime figure Abdullah Sanussi had been "very tough" in his response to the suggestion. (Note: Sanussi summoned GRPO Chief to an unscheduled meeting on June 7 in which he conveyed messages on el-Jahmi and other issues (ref A). Sanussi was until 2007 the director of Libya's military intelligence organization (DMI). He continues to play a significant role as an adviser to Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, another son of the Leader. End note.) 3. (S/NF) According to Fituri, Sanussi told Muatassim that Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi was personally following el-Jahmi's case and was upset that the U.S. kept raising it. (Note: The Leader reportedly took great offense at el-Jahmi's public criticism of him and his stewardship of the country. El-Jahmi's much-publicized remarks led to his arrest and detention. End note.) Fituri said he would broach the issue with Muatassim again to see if there was any possibility that the idea of releasing el-Jahmi could be revisited. 4. (S/NF) Comment: Muatassim's reported comments suggest that the message Sanussi delivered in early June was authored by al-Qadhafi himself. Persuading the GOL to release el-Jahmi will therefore probably entail persuading Leader Muammar al-Qadhafi himself that it is in Libya's interest to do so. End comment. STEVENS

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