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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04MANAMA720 2004-05-17 13:34:00 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Manama
Cable title:  

TORTURE ALLEGATIONS OF BAHRAINI GTMO DETAINEE -

Tags:   PREL PTER BA 
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					  S E C R E T MANAMA 000720 

SIPDIS

NOFORN

DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI, NEA/PPD AND NEA/ARP
CAIRO FOR STEVE BONDY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/16/2029
TAGS: PREL PTER BA
SUBJECT: TORTURE ALLEGATIONS OF BAHRAINI GTMO DETAINEE -
GUIDANCE REQUESTED

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Robert S. Ford for
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (U) SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST. The Abu Gharieb prison
scandal has spurred stories of Bahraini GTMO detainees being
tortured. An open letter to President Bush that specified a
Bahraini citizen by name has gained credibility with some
government and NGO leaders. Sunni Islamist parliamentarians
raised the reports of torture with the Minister of State. To
the Embassy's knowledge the prisoner has made no formal
complaints of abuse. ACTION REQUEST: Post requests immediate
press guidance to counter allegations of abuse of a Bahraini
GTMO detainee. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) On May 15 English daily "Bahrain Tribune" featured
allegations by two former British-Pakistani GTMO detainees
that US prison guards at Guantanamo Bay beat an ailing
Bahraini detainee. In the same article vocal anti-American
Parliament member Shaikh Mohammed Khalid condemned the
torture and called for national mobilization to release all
six Bahraini detainees. Arabic daily "Al Ayam" also reported
the allegation which was derived from an open letter to
President Bush. The letter named Juma Al-Dossari as the
victim.



3. (U) On May 16 Arabic daily, "Akhbar Al Khaleej,"
published an op-ed piece by Muslim Brotherhood Friday prayer
leader Shaikh Salah Fuad Ubaid. Ubaid posited that the US
Army abused Arab prisoners at GTMO because President Bush
waged war against Arabs and the Muslim world. On the same
day, independent newspaper "Al Wasat" reported that Bahrain
Human Rights Society Deputy Secretary General Salman Kamal
Al-Din questioned the credibility of the torture. He noted
that a GOB security delegation recently visited Guantanamo
and confirmed that the detainees were in good physical and
mental condition.



4. (C) President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights
Nabeel Rajab told Pol/Econ Chief on May 16 that prior to the
publishing of the open letter, Nabeel had been skeptical
about the reports that one of the Bahraini detainees was
tortured. However, the Abu Ghariebprison scandal gave the
allegation credibility. He told Pol/Econ Chief that he
believes the problem is systemic and not isolated to a few
young soldiers.



5. (C) MFA Minister of State Abdelghaffar told CDA on May
11 (before the British detainees' open letter was reported in
Bahrain) that Sunni Islamist parliamentarians had raised with
him the reports of torture at Abu Gharieb and the possibility
of Bahrainis being tortured at GTMO. He said he discounted
these allegations but there is new parliamentary heat on the
MFA to do something. Abdelghaffar said he knew a team had
just gone to GTMO and found no particular complaints from the
Bahraini detainees, but he asked if a Bahraini doctor could
go look at them. CDA told the MinState such a visit was most
unlikely to receive approval. Abdelghaffar understood but
asked that we check.



6. (S/NF) COMMENT. On April 26 Emboff escorted a GOB
delegation to GTMO that met with all six Bahraini detainees.
The detainees did not lodge any complaints of mistreatment or
abuse. On April 27 and April 29, the GOB delegation met with
detainee Juma Al-Dossari. Al-Dossari complained that he had
been in solitary confinement for over a year. Prison
officials explained that Al-Dossari has attempted suicide at
least seven times. They placed him under suicide watch in an
individual cell for his own protection. EmbOff reported that
GOB delegations visited GTMO on two previous occasions.
Since April 2002, the Bahraini detainess have not formally
complained of mistreatment or abuse. For some GOB officials
and societal leaders, the allegation that US prison guards
tortured a Bahraini detainee at Guantanamo Bay has gained
credibility in light of the Abu Gharieb prison scandal. END
COMMENT.
FORD