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Cablegate: Authorities Provide Special Jail Accommodations To

VZCZCXRO5594
RR RUEHCI
DE RUEHKA #1235/01 2110551
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300551Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4641
INFO RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 8034
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1761
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 9209
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0061
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 0856
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DHAKA 001235

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KGOV KDEM BG
SUBJECT: AUTHORITIES PROVIDE SPECIAL JAIL ACCOMMODATIONS TO
HASINA

REF: DHAKA 1161

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On July 16, Awami League president and
former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was arrested by police
and arraigned on charges of abetting extortion. She is being
held at a special sub-jail created for her on the grounds of
Parliament. Over the past two weeks, authorities have made
improvements to the facility and are permitting visits by
family members and lawyers. END SUMMARY.

CONDITIONS IN HASINA'S SUB-JAIL
===============================

2. (SBU) After her arrest on July 16, Awami League president
and former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed was taken to a
sub-jail specially created for her on the grounds of the
National Parliament in Dhaka (reftel). The two-story,
air-conditioned building she is being held in, which was
built as the official residence of the Deputy Whip of
Parliament, has a living room, dining room, and kitchen on
the ground floor. Hasina's bedroom, with attached bathroom,
is upstairs.

3. (SBU) According to one of Hasina's lawyers who visited her
during her first week of confinement, authorities have
treated her well. When she complained about her bed, for
example, they immediately replaced it. A color television
from Hasina's home has been installed at the sub-jail, and
Hasina is receiving four newspapers daily. The prison
authorities have permitted her to bring pillows and linens
from her home. Food is brought in from the main Dhaka prison
and prepared at the on-site kitchen. So far, authorities
have rejected Hasina's request to bring in her own food.

4. (SBU) Twenty jail police, including five females, under
supervision of a deputy jailor, are posted at the sub-jail.
Officers of the Rapid Action Battalion and regular police are
also deployed around the facility.

5. (SBU) Authorities have denied Hasina's request that she be
permitted to walk about the Parliament grounds, citing
security concerns. She can move around the main rooms of the
sub-jail unescorted.

ACCESS TO HASINA
================

6. (SBU) In the first few days of her incarceration, Hasina
could not receive visitors and access to her attorneys was
limited. On July 17, the Anti-Corruption Commission ordered
Hasina to submit her wealth statement within seven days. Her
son, Sajeeb Wazed "Joy," who resides in the U.S., complained
publicly this was a "trap" since she could not complete this
without access to her attorneys. By July 21, her lawyers
were permitted to visit her regularly. On July 28, the ACC
extended by a week the deadline for submission of the wealth
statement to give her more time to prepare it.

7. (SBU) The Deputy Inspector General of Prisons has now
granted permission for Hasina to receive visitors, based on a
list of her 25 closest relatives submitted by Hasina's
lawyers. These visits are now happening regularly. A recent
visitor told us he was treated courteously by prison
officials while meeting with Hasina. (NOTE: According to the
Bangladesh Penal Code, two relatives and/or lawyers can see a
"class one" detainee twice per month. Hasina is being
treated better than most of the political detainees arrested
by the government confined in jails around the country.)

HEALTH CONDITION
================

8. (SBU) Hasina complained of back pain after being jostled
en route to court immediately after her arrest. The prison
arranged for her personal physician and a physiotherapist to
treat her at the sub-jail on July 17. Her family was also
permitted to provide her with high blood pressure medication.
A female doctor and a nurse have now been posted around the
clock at the sub-jail to tend to Hasina as needed. An
ambulance is being kept on stand-by to respond to any
emergencies.

9. (SBU) The Embassy continues to monitor Hasina's trial and
the conditions of her confinement.

DHAKA 00001235 002 OF 002


PASI

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