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Cablegate: Sudan: Letter to Sec. Rice From Fm Lam Akol On Guantanamo

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKH #2818 3412034
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 072034Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5520

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 002818

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PTER US SU
SUBJECT: Sudan: Letter to Sec. Rice from FM Lam Akol on Guantanamo
Detainee

1. (SBU) On December 6, Embassy Khartoum received a letter dated
December 4 from Foreign Minister Lam Akol regarding the status of
Guantanamo detainee Sami Mohy El din Mohammed Al Hajj, an Al-Jazeera
cameraman.

2. (SBU) the text of the letter is as follows:

(Begin text)

I am writing to you in relation to the Sudanese citizen Mr. Sami
Mohy El din Mohammed Al Hajj who was arrested in Afghanistan few
years ago while he was covering the events there as a journalist, or
more precisely, a cameraman for Aljazeera Television and was since
then detained in Guantanamo Bay by the US Law Enforcement Agencies.
Mr. El Hajj is listed in the detention under No. US9SU-000345DP.

To the best of our knowledge and belief, Mr. Al Hajj is held in
detention without charge in Guantanamo Bay for a very long period of
time and without any clue as to the nature of the crime he is
alleged to have committed or any indication as to a time frame for
his trial.

I wish hereby to convey the deep concern of the people of the Sudan
and the family and friends of Mr. El Hajj about his health in
Guantanamo. It is likely that, Mr. El Hajj might have been
mistakenly arrested as a combatant in Afghanistan. The information
gathered about his character reveal that he is a person of good
record and that he was just doing his job as a cameraman when
arrested. Of course, if there is any prima facie evidence to the
contrary, the Government of the Sudan would welcome his transfer to
his country of nationality for the due process of law to take
place.

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Therefore, we would kindly request the intervention of your esteemed
Department with the relevant US Authorities in Guantanamo to assess
the position of Mr. El Hajj and to facilitate his immediate release
for him to travel to Sudan. I trust the Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the sisterly State of Qatar could assist in this matter.

I am convinced that the disturbing unconfirmed information about the
deteriorating health and morale of Mr. El Hajj will prompt your
Department to take an immediate action on humanitarian grounds, and
we are hopeful that Mr. El Hajj will soon join his family and
friends in Sudan.

I avail myself of this opportunity to thank you in advance and to
renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest esteem.

(End text)

HUME

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