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Cablegate: Letter From Family of Margaret Hassan

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

171643Z Nov 05




E.O. 12958: N/A

1.(U) This is an action request. See Paragraph 3.

2. (SBU) Post's Consular Section received today a copy of a
letter from Mrs. Geraldine Fitzimons Riney, the sister of
Margaret Hassan, the British/Irish citizen who was taken
hostage and murdered in Iraq in November 2004, addressed to
the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Mr. Bertie Ahern. The
verbatim text of the message follows:

(begin quote)
Killowen East
Co. Kerry
17th November 2005

An Taoiseach
Mr. Bertie Ahern, T.D.
Department of the Taoiseach
Government Buildings
Upper Merrion Street
Dublin 2

Dear Mr. Ahern,

As I am sure you are aware, prisoners that were held in
Baghdad by the Iraqi Interior Ministry are now in the
custody of American troops. My family has reason to believe
that three of the prisoners are men who were held on
suspicion of Margaret's kidnap and murder. They were
arrested on May 1st 2005, because they were in possession of
Margaret's belongings and admitted to knowledge of her
kidnapping. Until now, we have been told that only the
Iraqi Police could interrogate these men. As the Americans
now hold them, and the Iraqi Interior Ministry no longer
have them in their custody; may I appeal to you to ask the
American authorities in Iraq to question these men properly?
Margaret's husband Tahseen has asked me to appeal to you for
help in bringing pressure to bear on the American Military
who hold these prisoners. The men held must know what
happened to Margaret as they were in possession of her
My family's dearest wish is to recover Margaret's remains.
And, I am sure that you like us would like to see those
responsible for her death brought to justice. To date the
only people with information are the men arrested and it is
imperative that they are questioned as soon as possible.
We continue to seek justice for Margaret Hassan.

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Yours sincerely,
Geraldine Fitzimons Riney

c.c. Dermot Ahern, T.D.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (end quote)

3. (SBU) The Margaret Hassan murder attracted much media
attention in Ireland, and, as a result, her tragic death was
widely followed here. Ms. Riney's letter was forwarded to
us by the consular department of the Irish Department of
Foreign Affairs, without comment. Although the Irish
government has not yet asked us to respond to or act on Ms.
Riney's requests, we request guidance on what we can tell
the GOI and or Hassan's family directly. Given the fact
that events related to her murder continue to be of high
interest to the Irish people and government, as forthcoming
an approach as possible would be helpful.


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