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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05COLOMBO291
2005-02-07 05:17:00
SECRET
Embassy Colombo
Cable title:  

MALDIVIAN GOVERNMENT RESPONSE ON THE RETURN OF

Tags:   PTER  KAWC  PREL  PINS  MV 
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						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000291 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA, SA/INS AND S/WCI
SECDEF FOR SOL/LIC ASD OICONNELL
NSC FOR DORMANDY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/07/2015
TAGS: PTER KAWC PREL PINS MV
SUBJECT: MALDIVIAN GOVERNMENT RESPONSE ON THE RETURN OF
GUANTANAMO DETAINEE IBRAHIM FOWZY TO MALDIVES

REF: (A) 04 COLOMBO 2023 (B) 04 STATE 264536 (C) 04
COLOMBO 1853 (D) 04 COLOMBO 1696 (E) 04
COLOMBO 1572 (F) 04 COLOMBO 883

Classified By: AMBASSADOR JEFFREY J. LUNSTEAD FOR REASON 1.5 (D).



1. (S) In late January, the Embassy received the
following diplomatic note from the Government of the
Republic of Maldives (GoRM), building on their preliminary
response contained in Ref A, in response to our diplomatic
note, drawing from Ref B, which laid out the USG view
regarding the return of Mr. Ibrahim Fowzy (aka Fouzee,
Fauzee or Fauzy) to Maldives:

Begin text

Reference: (C) EA-US/B/05/01

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives
presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United
States of America to the Republic of Maldives and, with
reference to the Embassy's note no. 087, dated 13 December
2004, regarding Mr. Ibrahim Fauzee who is currently in
detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has the honour to inform
the Embassy that the Government of Maldives welcomes the
decision by the Government of the United States of America
to transfer Mr. Ibrahim Fauzee to the care and control of
the Government of Maldives, and confirms that he would be
treated in accordance with the laws and international
obligations of the Maldives, once transferred.

The Ministry also has the honour to inform the Embassy
that, while the Maldives strongly supports the war against
terrorism led by the United States, some of the measures
requested for in the Embassy's referred note can only be
taken by the Government of Maldives once Mr. Fauzee has
been charged in a competent court of law and found guilty
of a crime that authorizes such action. Therefore, the
Ministry requests the Embassy to either transfer Mr. Fauzee
to the care of the Government of Maldives along with
substantial evidence to try him in a competent court of law
in the Maldives, or try him in the United States and if
convicted, have him transferred to the Maldives to serve
his sentence.

The Ministry has the further honour to inform the Embassy
that the Government of Maldives strongly wishes Mr. Fauzee
to be released unconditionally should the evidence against
him prove to be insufficient to warrant a trial in a
competent court of law, or is tried and acquitted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives
avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy
of the United States of America to the Republic of Maldives
the assurances of its highest consideration.

Male', 13 January 2005

End text



2. (S) On February 3, during a trip to Maldives, the DCM
had a lengthy discussion with Maldivian Attorney General
Hassan Saeed about Mr. Fowzy's return. Hassan told the DCM
that it was important to remember that the political
climate in Maldives is changing in a positive direction.
As part of that, greater accountability and respect for the

law is expected from the security services which would make
it impossible for Mr. Fowzy to be detained or put under
house arrest upon his return unless, as stated in the GoRM
note in para one, the U.S. has tried and convicted Mr.
Fowzy in some sort of judicial proceeding before his return
or the U.S. gives the GoRM sufficient evidence to justify
trying Mr. Fowzy after his return to Maldives. Absent
either of those, Mr. Fowzy would be a free man once he got
home. Moreover, there would be no legal basis under
Maldivian law to require Fowzy to check in with the police
or the security services on a regular basis.



3. (S) The DCM reviewed for Hassan U.S. concerns about
monitoring of returned Guantanamo detainees which stem from
the fact that a number of former detainees have again taken
up arms against the U.S. after their returns to Pakistan or
Afghanistan. In light of that, the U.S. would need some
sort of assurance that an eye would be kept on Mr. Fowzy
after his return so the U.S. would be aware immediately if
there were any indication that Mr. Fowzy planned to engage
in activities detrimental to the U.S.



4. (S) Hassan said he understood these concerns
completely and underscored that Maldives, a moderate Muslim
country, had no interest in seeing Mr. Fowzy engage in
"radical" activities either. Thus, Hassan said, his
government would place Mr. Fowzy on a watchlist which would
alert the GoRM if he tried to leave the country and would
share Fowzy's travel plans with the U.S. Second, the GoRM
would facilitate meetings between U.S. officials and Mr.
Fowzy in Maldives, if the U.S. ever felt the need to
interview Mr. Fowzy in the future. "We wouldn't drag him
into an interrogation room against his will but I'm sure we
could persuade him he should cooperate with you."
Finally, Hassan told the DCM, the combination of the
effectiveness of the Maldivian security services and the
archipelagic nature of the country would ensure that "we
would keep a very close watch on his activities. The last
thing we want is him causing trouble here."



5. (S) Comment. The Attorney General is right. Maldives
is in the midst of a political transformation towards
greater democracy and greater governmental respect for
individual rights, trends which the United States has
encouraged. In that context, it seems to us that we have
the basis of a mutually-satisfactory deal for Fowzy's
return. He would be allowed to resume his life but the
GoRM would keep tabs on Fowzy, let us know about travel
abroad and help us talk to him if need be in the future.
This seems suitable to us and we would urge Washington to
begin plans to return Mr. Fowzy to Maldives. It is
important that we remove this bilateral irritant with
Maldives, a moderate (tsunami-wracked) Muslim country well-
disposed to the U.S. and supportive in the GWOT, with no
further delay. End Comment.

LUNSTEAD