Cablegate: Communication From Wg On Arbitrary Detention
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GENEVA 002638
STATE FOR IO/SHA, DRL/MLA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM UNHRC
SUBJECT: COMMUNICATION FROM WG ON ARBITRARY DETENTION
REGARDING THE CASE OF MAJEED HAMEED
1. Mission received the following communication from Ms.
Leila Zerrougui, Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group
on Arbitrary Detention, regarding the case of Mr. Majeed
Hameed. This communication has been forwarded to IO/SHA via
e-mail and is number 38 on the Geneva 2005 Communications
2. Begin text of letter:
25 October 2005
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
The Commission on Human Rights, by resolution 2003/31
entitled "Question of arbitrary detention", decided to
renew, for a three-year period, the mandate of the Working
Group on Arbitrary Detention. The mandate was confirmed by
resolution 2005/28. It is in my capacity as
Chairperson/Rapporteur of the Working Group that I am
addressing the present letter to you. A similar letter is
being transmitted to the Government of Iraq.
I wish to draw your Government's attention to a
communication which was submitted to the Working Group on
Arbitrary Detention, concerning a case of alleged arbitrary
deprivation of liberty attributed to United States forces in
Iraq. A summary of the communication is attached to the
In order to be able to render an opinion with respect to the
case reported it, the Working Group would appreciate
receiving any information which your Government may wish to
provide regarding this case, and in particular, information
on the allegations made therein, both in respect of the
facts and the applicable legislation. The Working Group
would be grateful if you could provide it with a reply at
your earliest convenience, and not later than 90 days from
the date of transmittal of the present letter, so as to
facilitate its task of investigating the case.
Nevertheless, should your Government wish that this deadline
be extended, the Working Group would be grateful if you
could inform it, within the 90-day deadline, of the reasons
for that request to enable the Group to extend, if
necessary, the deadline, keeping in mind the dates of its
Please accept, dear Mr. Ambassador, the assurances of my
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
End text of letter.
3. Begin text of attachment:
IRAQ/UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The case summarised below was reported to the Working Group
on Arbitrary Detention as follows:
1. Mr. Majeed Hameed, 22 years old, born in Abu Farraj, al
Ramadi; a national of Iraq and resident of Baghdad; first-
year student of political sciences at Baghdad University and
a correspondent of the satellite television network Al
Arabiya in Baghdad and Ramadi.
2. According to the source, Mr. Hameed is particularly
known as a journalist because he covered several hotspots
that witnessed some of the heaviest clashes between the
United States forces and armed groups, most notably in the
areas of Rawa and Hudaiths, where his news packages and
footage were the sole reports coming out of those areas at
certain stages. Hi is recognized as one of the most active
and bravest of television journalists operating in Iraq.
3. According to the information received, Mr. Majeed Hameed
was arrested on 12 September 2005 by United States forces,
on suspicion of having links with a terrorist organization.
Mr. Majeed Hameed was initially detained incommunicado at
the 8th Battalion Detention Centre under United States and
Iraq custody. On 2 October 2005, he was transferred to Abu
Ghraib prison where he is still detained as of date.
4. It is further mentioned that Mr. Majeed Hameed has not
been allowed any family visits nor has he been able to
consult a lawyer. He has not been presented before a judge
and thus has not been able to challenge the legality of his
detention. The source further alleges that Mr. Majeed
Hameed has been subjected to ill treatment and not given
proper medical care while in detention.
5. According to the source, the American forces and the
Iraqi authorities have presented no proof that would
substantiate Mr. Hammed involvement in any illegal activity.
His detention would solely be motivated for the aim to
impede him to continue exercising his activities as a
6. The source concludes that the detention of this person
is contrary to his rights and freedoms guaranteed by
articles 9, 10 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and by articles 7, 9. 14, and 19 of the International
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, of which both Iraq
and the United States of America are parties, as well as by
principles 15, 17, 18 and 19 of the Body of Principles for
the Protection of all Persons under Any Form of Detention of
Imprisonment (adopted by the United Nations General Assembly
by its resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988).
7. The Working Group would appreciate if the Government
could, in its reply, provide it with detailed information
about the current situation of the above-mentioned person
and to give clarifications about the legal provisions to
justify his continued detention.