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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06MANAMA1101
2006-06-19 14:40:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manama
Cable title:  

GOB FEELS PRESSURE ON REMAINING GUANTANAMO

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PTER  BA  BILAT  CTR  POL 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO3517
OO RUEHDE
DE RUEHMK #1101/01 1701440
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 191440Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5046
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT  PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAMA 001101 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP AND S/WCI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER BA BILAT CTR POL
SUBJECT: GOB FEELS PRESSURE ON REMAINING GUANTANAMO
DETAINEES

REF: A. MANAMA 1000

B. MANAMA 963

Classified By: Ambassador William T. Monroe for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
.

-------
Summary
-------



1. (C) Activity in support of the remaining three Bahrainis
detained at Guantanamo Bay increased following the recent
suicides. Anti-U.S. MP Mohamed Khalid said he holds the U.S.
Administration responsible for the deaths and called
Guantanamo a "U.S. Nazi prison." Former detainee Abdulla
Majid Al Nuaimi predicted additional suicide attempts and
speculated that the reason behind the three suicides was to
draw even more international focus onto Guantanamo. Amnesty
International Bahrain started a letter-writing campaign and a
petition drive in support of detainees. Arabic daily Al Ayam
columnist Lamees Dhaif called on the MFA to augment its
diplomatic efforts and MFA Assistant Undersecretary Shaikh
Abdul Aziz Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa spoke of GOB frustration
with the raised level of pressure on the government to act
and the unresolved status of the remaining detainees. End
summary.



--------------------------


MP and Former Detainee Speak Out


--------------------------





2. (SBU) The recent suicides at Guantanamo Bay have set off
another round of press stories in Bahrain and renewed efforts
to increase pressure on both the USG to release the remaining
three Bahraini detainees and on the GOB to redouble its
efforts to negotiate for their release. Al Minbar Islamic
Society MP Mohamed Khalid, who is strongly anti-U.S.,
predictably responded to news of the suicides by stating
publicly June 13 that he held the U.S. Administration
responsible for the three deaths, and that he was deeply
concerned about the condition of the Bahraini detainees. He
expressed doubts about the official story on the suicides and
characterized Guantanamo as a "U.S. Nazi prison."



3. (U) English daily Gulf Daily News carried an interview
June 13 with released Bahraini detainee Abdulla Majid Al
Nuaimi in which he said that he was well acquainted with the
three men who committed suicide and predicted that there
would be more suicide attempts in the future. Al Nuaimi
stated he thought that they had sacrificed themselves for the
other detainees in order to draw international attention to
Guantanamo. He surmised that in order for three to have
succeeded, there must have been at least 15 detainees who
attempted suicide at that same time. "The camp in Guantanamo
has high security and there is no chance for detainees to
commit suicide. I've seen 10 people attempting to hang
themselves at one time." Al Nuaimi also said that it was
possible that the deaths were not suicides at all but the
result of an attack by guards.



--------------------------


Public Calls for Action


--------------------------





4. (U) According to press reports June 18, Amnesty
International (AI) Bahrain sent an initial batch of nearly
400 letters, signed by members of the public, to the U.S.
Embassy and to the MFA. The letter writing campaign is
reported to be part of activities planned to recognize the
June 26 UN International Day in Support of Victims of
Torture. Those involved in the effort include AI Bahrain
coordinator Nasser Burdestani and AI Bahrain member Nabeel
Rajab, former vice president of Bahrain Center for Human
Rights (BCHR, dissolved). In addition, AI Bahrain began a
petition drive June 6 called "10,000 Voices for Justice." AI
Bahrain intends to send the petition to the U.S. Congress as
soon as it has collected 10,000 signatures.



5. (U) Arabic daily Al Ayam carried an editorial June 19 in
which Lamees Dhaif wrote that each Bahraini feels the pain of
the Bahraini detainees at Guantanamo. (Note: Dhaif has
previously written in support of the activities of MP Mohamed
Khalid and Nabeel Rajab in calling for the release of the
Bahraini detainees. End note.) "We thought that the
American dream was the ultimate savior from oppression in the
Arab World, but the reality of the dream of democracy and
human rights has been revealed to us at Guantanamo." Dhaif
urged the MFA to increase diplomatic efforts to bring the

MANAMA 00001101 002 OF 002


remaining Bahrainis home. She also called on the public to
send email messages to the U.S. Embassy demanding their
release.



--------------------------


MFA Frustration


--------------------------





6. (C) In a June 14 meeting with U.S. DOJ Associate Director
David Warner, MFA Assistant Undersecretary for Coordination
and Follow Up Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa
expressed his and the GOB,s frustration with the pressure
and criticism the GOB is receiving from the Parliament, the
media, and the public, who complain the GOB is not doing
enough on behalf of the three remaining Bahraini detainees.
He acknowledged that the Ambassador and the FM discuss
Guantanamo matters nearly every time they meet, but hoped for
more information from a DOJ official. Shaikh Abdul Aziz
related that he had received a call at midnight on the day
the suicides were announced, and until the identification of
the three, was horrified to think that one of them might be
Bahraini detainee Juma Al Dosary, who has been documented to
have attempted suicide at least 11 times. The hardest part
of the whole Guantanamo situation is the uncertain status of
the detainees. He said it would not bother him to see the
detainees jailed for 50 years if that were the result of a
legal process. Pressure is building on the GOB to do
something to resolve their uncertain status.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





7. (C) If it had been the intent of those who committed
suicide to raise the profile of Guantanamo, they achieved a
measure of success in Bahrain. The GOB has borne the brunt
of this increase in local pressure and has reached out to the
Embassy to provide some evidence of progress toward the
resolution of the Bahraini detainees' legal limbo. In light
of these developments, the MFA is hoping for a positive
response to a recent request to send a Bahraini team to visit
Guantanamo (reftels), as proof that it is taking action on
behalf of the Bahraini detainees.

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Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/manama/
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