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Cablegate: Deteriorating Conditions at the Anbar Detention

VZCZCXRO7949
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDH RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0083/01 0130814
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130814Z JAN 10 ZDS ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6100
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 000083

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (CAPTION ADDED)

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PHUM PGOV ASEC PREL EAID KJUS KCRM KDEM
IZ
SUBJECT: DETERIORATING CONDITIONS AT THE ANBAR DETENTION
FACILITY RAISE CONCERNS

BAGHDAD 00000083 001.3 OF 002


1. (U) This is a PRT Anbar (Ramadi) cable.

2. (U) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: During a series of December
visits to the Hurricane Point Judicial Complex in Ramadi,
PRTOffs discovered unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the
recently occupied detention facility. The principal cause of
these conditions is the inability of the Iraqi government to
provide adequate operating and maintenance funding. The
result is no fuel for the facility's emergency generator and
a critical loss of water pressure. The combination of
inadequate staffing, unlit corridors, lack of water, and
unsanitary conditions at the Anbar detention facility
constitutes a potentially serious security concern that must
be addressed. END SUMMARY.

RAMADI'S HURRICANE POINT JUDICIAL COMPLEX
=========================================

3. (U) On 23 December, PRTOffs conducted a site survey of the
newly occupied detention facility at the Hurricane Point
Judicial Complex. The complex is part of a 21.5 million
dollar project by U.S. forces, the Embassy, and the
government of Iraq (GOI) to establish a secure compound for
the judiciary, courts and detainees awaiting trial in the
provincial capital of Al Anbar Province. Grave concerns over
judicial security prompted the building of the complex to
provide a facility that allowed for the easier coordination
of judicial resources and detainee access. Since the
facility opened in June, cases have started to move more
quickly and judges are working aggressively to alleviate a
significant backlog of cases.

LACK OF LIGHTING
================

4. (U) Approximately six to eight weeks ago, 243 detainees,
including sixteen Iraqi Police, a female detainee and a
juvenile were transferred to the new detention facility from
the former transfer jail at the Provincial Government Center
(PGC). The much-heralded transfer immediately resulted in
difficulties at the new facility. The transfer forced to the
forefront the failure of the GOI to provide funds for fuel to
run the facility's generator. The lack of funding for fuel
oil to run the generator has left the facility with no
electricity to run the water pumps and lights when the
electrical grid is down. The local grid provides only about
two hours of electricity per day. When grid power is lost,
the lighting switches over to emergency lighting. The
emergency lighting runs off a back-up power supply that
charges during the two hours of grid power and provides
approximately forty-five minutes to one hour of power to the
emergency lighting. Once this is exhausted the facility is
plummeted into darkness, creating a serious security concern.

LACK OF WATER
=============

5. (U) The lack of electricity for water pumps has created
sanitation and humanitarian concerns. When the PRT visited
the facility, detainees had gone without water for three
days. During a walk-through of the cell block, the inmates
accosted PRTOffs with complaints about the lack of water.
They had been provided with bottled water that they alleged
had to be purchased from the facility's staff. When the PRT
inquired with the staff, they stated that a water pump had
broken and they had no water supply to the facility. Without
water, detainees were also unable to flush the sewerage
system. Staff explained that, in an attempt to solve the
problem, two water tanks were placed on the roof of the
detention facility. These tanks operate a gravity-fed system
that has been cut into the existing water lines to augment
Qthat has been cut into the existing water lines to augment
the system. The gravity-fed system lacks adequate static
pressure to maintain sufficient water flow. Once the warm
weather returns, conditions in the facility are expected to
significantly worsen.

INADEQUATE SUPERVISION
======================

6. (U) During the PRT's visit, there was limited leadership
present at the detention facility. PRTOffs were informed
that the commanding officer had just departed. This lack of
oversight is troubling. When PRTOffs toured the facility,
they noticed a young male, possibly less than 12 years of age
amongst the adult male population. The staff insisted the
juvenile had his own cell. The Provincial Chief Judge, who
lives on the complex in judicial staff housing, opined that
the security situation at night is a source of concern and
reflects insufficient staffing.

7. (U) There is disagreement as to who is actually

BAGHDAD 00000083 002.3 OF 002


responsible for running the facility, and therefore who is
responsible for the current conditions. The Provincial Court
Judge insisted to PRTOffs that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ)
was legally in charge of the detention facility. However,
the Ministry of Justice told EmbOffs it had nothing to do
with the facility, and it was the responsibility of the MOI
to operate on behalf of the Higher Judicial Court (HJC).
(NOTE: Generally, detention facilities such as this fall
under the purview of the HJC and are run by the Ministry of
Interior. END NOTE)

8. (SBU) COMMENT: The detention facility has a population of
approximately 260 detainees in both pre-trial and post-trial
detention. Some of these post-trial detainees have received
death sentences and are awaiting transfer for execution. The
combination of inadequate staffing, unlit corridors, lack of
water, and unsanitary conditions creates a potential powder
keg. In addition to the need for additional staffing, the
facility needs to be supplied with adequate fuel for their
generators or be connected to the city's 24-hour emergency
power grid, which would maintain the water supply and
lighting all hours of the day. The most immediate problem,
perhaps, is to clarify which government entity (apparently
the Interior Ministry) has responsibility for maintaining the
facility, and get them to run it properly. END COMMENT.
HILL

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