US embassy cable - 04BAGHDAD230

USEB 146: ICRC DELIVERS COPIES OF TWO LETTERS REGARDING DETAINEE TREATMENT TO EMBASSY BAGHDAD

Identifier: 04BAGHDAD230
Wikileaks: View 04BAGHDAD230 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2004-07-23 14:22:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PTER IZ ICRC
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 231422Z JUL 04
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0333
INFO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
CJCS WASHINGTON DC
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
USMISSION GENEVA 
IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L  BAGHDAD 000230 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/23/14 
TAGS: PREL, PTER, IZ, ICRC 
SUBJECT: USEB 146: ICRC DELIVERS COPIES OF TWO LETTERS 
REGARDING DETAINEE TREATMENT TO EMBASSY BAGHDAD 
 
REF: (A) ICRC letter BAG 04/747, (B) ICRC letter BAG 
04/748. 
 
(U)  CLASSIFIED BY POL-MIL COUNSELOR RONALD E. NEUMANN FOR 
REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY. On June 20, 2004, International Committee 
for the Red Cross (ICRC) Baghdad Head of Delegation 
Christophe Beney delivered copies of two letters (Refs A 
and B) to Pol-Mil Minister Ambassador Neumann. Both letters 
were labeled "Confidential." Both were addressed to General 
George W. Casey, Commanding General of the Multi-National 
Force-Iraq (MNF-I), and copied to Ambassador Negroponte. 
 
2. (C) The text of both letters, which detail ICRC concerns 
regarding MNF-I detainee procedures, is reproduced below. 
The first letter (Ref A) concerns two Pakistani ICRC 
interviewees who informed ICRC that they had been 
transferred to Afghanistan from Iraq while in Coalition 
custody, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva 
Convention. The second letter (Ref B) concerns ICRC 
objections to the Coalition's provision of timely 
information regarding detentions and detainees to ICRC 
officials.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3. (C) International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) 
Baghdad Head of Delegation Christophe Beney delivered 
copies of two letters (Refs A and B) to Pol-Mil Minister 
Ambassador Neumann.  Both letters are dated July 20, 2004. 
Both are addressed to Gen. George W. Casey, Commanding 
General, MNF-I, and both are copied to Ambassador 
Negroponte and Major General Geoffrey Miller, Deputy 
Commanding General for Detainee Operations, MNF-I. 
 
4. (C) Begin text of Ref A. 
 
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) would 
like to submit to your attention the following issue of 
great concern. 
 
During an ICRC visit to Camp Bagram Collection Point (BCP) 
in Afghanistan on 24 to 28 May, 2004, the ICRC met two 
Pakistani internees who claimed to have been arrested in 
Iraq at the end of February 2004. These individuals, who 
identified themselves respectively as Amanullah and Salah 
Mohammad Ali Al-Hayyan, were allegedly arrested in Baghdad 
by U.S. forces. They claimed to have been detained for 
approximately one month in Iraq, presumably in Abu Ghraib, 
prior to their transfer to BCP at the end of March. 
 
During private interviews with other internees at the time 
of the 24 to 28 May visit to BCP, the ICRC also received 
allegations of the detention in Afghanistan of two other 
persons who had been arrested in Iraq. The concerned 
individuals were identified to the ICRC as: Abdallah, 
Saudi, and Hossam, Yemeni, both arrested in March 2004 in 
Fallujah. Both were allegedly transferred from Iraq to an 
undisclosed place of detention run by U.S. services in 
Afghanistan, a place of detention to which ICRC has not 
been granted access. Both internees were allegedly 
transferred out of this place to an unknown destination in 
April 2004. In addition, these four individuals were 
neither notified to the ICRC in Iraq nor met by the ICRC 
during the course of its visits there. 
 
The ICRC would like to emphasize that Article 49 of the 
Fourth Geneva Convention (GC IV) prohibits forcible 
transfers of protected persons from occupied territory to 
the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any 
other country regardless of their motive. The violation of 
Article 49 constitutes a grave breach of the GC IV, as 
provided in Article 147 GC IV. The ICRC therefore calls 
upon U.S. authorities to investigate the circumstances in 
which this violation could have occurred and to take the 
necessary measures as required by Article 146 GC IV. 
 
The ICRC is deeply concerned for the welfare of internees 
transferred out of Iraq and recalls its request to be 
notified in a timely manner of all arrests made there. The 
ICRC further requests to be informed of the whereabouts of 
those who have been transferred to undisclosed locations 
and asks that it be granted access to them without delay. 
 
Copies of this letter are also being provided to the U.S. 
Embassy in Kabul and the Commander of the CJTF 180 in 
Afghanistan. In Washington, copies are being provided to 
the relevant authorities of the Pentagon, State Department, 
and National Security Council, in furtherance of the ICRC's 
dialogue with U.S. authorities on issues of U.S. detention 
policy and practices. 
 
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and remain, 
Yours sincerely, Christophe Beney, Head of Delegation, ICRC 
Iraq". 
 
End text. 
 
5. (C) Begin text of Ref B. 
 
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) would 
like to draw your attention to the following issues of 
concern. 
 
The existing system of notification to the ICRC of persons 
captured and detained under the control of the U.S. 
authorities in Iraq has led to instances in which 
notifications have not always been complete and timely. In 
some cases, the ICRC discovered that it had not been 
notified about the capture and internment of certain 
individuals, and that such individuals were not presented 
to the ICRC during its visits to internment facilities in 
Iraq. 
 
Notification should include: the surname, first names, 
place and date of birth, nationality, place of last 
residence, distinguishing characteristics, father's first 
name, mother's maiden name, the date, place, and nature of 
the action taken with regard to the individual, the address 
at which correspondence may be sent to him, and the name 
and address of the internee's contact person. 
 
It is also essential that ICRC receives all capture cards 
correctly completed upon capture, a complete list of the 
population of each place of internment at the time of each 
ICRC visit, and, on a weekly basis, a consolidated list of 
all persons who are held under the responsibility of U.S. 
authorities for more than 14 days. Appropriate information 
must also be provided concerning transfers, releases, 
deaths or escapes. 
 
The following examples illustrate the problem of absence or 
delayed notification of persons deprived of their liberty 
held by U.S. authorities in Iraq: 
 
(1) In its letter BAG-Field 04/184, dated 4 March 2004, 
addressed to Lieutenant General R. Sanchez, Commander CJTF- 
7, the ICRC reported the case of three Saudi nationals who 
were not notified until five weeks after their arrest. The 
delay of notification was most likely decided by those 
responsible for their interrogation. The ICRC still expects 
a reply from the U.S. authorities on this serious problem 
of delayed notification. 
 
(2) Two Pakistani internees (Amanullah and Salah Mohammed 
Ali Al-Hayyan) met by the ICRC during a visit to Bagram 
Collection Point in Afghanistan in May 2004 claimed that 
they had been interned under U.S. control in Iraq, probably 
in Abu Ghraib, between February and March 2004. Both 
internees were eventually transferred to Bagram Collection 
Point at the end of March. The ICRC has raised the issue of 
transfers of internees from Iraq to Afghanistan in its 
letter Bag 07/747, dated July 20. 
 
(3) U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated 
publicly on 17 June 2004 that an internee had been hidden 
from ICRC in Iraq for seven months. It was only after this 
announcement, and upon the ICRC's repeated insistence to be 
provided with the name of this individual, that the U.S. 
authorities in Iraq informed the ICRC of the identity of 
the concerned person. A 04 July 2004 letter signed by Major 
General G. Miller indicated the name as Hiea Abdrumen 
Rassul currently held in Camp Cropper. 
 
With regard to each of these cases, the ICRC is concerned 
that the lack of notification was not the result of 
administrative mistakes, but rather a deliberate decision 
not to allow the ICRC to perform its functions in a 
satisfactory manner. 
 
Therefore, we respectfully request that you give all the 
necessary instructions to ensure that the ICRC is notified 
of all arrests in a timely, reliable, and complete manner. 
 
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and remain, 
Yours sincerely, Christophe Beney, Head of Delegation, ICRC 
Iraq. 
 
End text of Ref B. 
 
 
6. (C) Post is aware that copies of these letters were 
made available to Maj. Gen Miller by ICRC Baghdad HoD Beney 
on June 20, 2004. 
 
 
NEGROPONTE 

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