DOS Cable re: Former Guantanamo Detainee Publishes Book and Alleges Mistreatment

State Department cable regarding the release of a biography of a former Danish Guantanamo detainee, Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane. Mr. Abderrahmane has not made any public statements alleging mistreatment, but the Danish press is highlighting the allegations of mistreatment while Mr. Abderrahmane was at Guantanamo. The media has also reported that the biography contains an allegation of Mr. Abderrahmane being "Beaten and Humiliated" by American troops in a prison at Kandahar Airport before being transferred to Guantanamo. The allegations of abuse have not been made to the Danish government, and are only in the book.

Doc_type: 
Cable
Doc_date: 
Monday, June 7, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED
Current Class: CONFIDENTIAL Page: 1 P....1+1
Current Handling: n/a
Document Number: 2004COPENH01033 Channel: n/a

RELEASED IN FULL

ACTION SCT-00

AID-00 CCO-00 CIAE-00
COME-00 CTME-00 INL-00.

INFO LOG-00 NP-00.
A-00 CG-00.

DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EAP-00 EB-00.
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00.

EUR-00 H-00
TEDE-00 INR-00 CAC-00 M-00

INSE-00 L-00 VCE-00.
AC-00 NIMA-00 PA-00

NRCE-00 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OCS-00.
TFBI-00 PM-00 ACE-00 FMPC-00 SP-00

PRS-00 P-00.
SSO-00 SS-00.

TRSE-00 USIE-00 USSS-00 ASDS-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-00 G-00 /000W

DRL-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00.

2ABB8D 071608Z /38
P 071604Z JUN 04
FM AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN

. TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9674
INFO ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY

CONFIDENTIALSECTION 01 OF 02 COPENHAGEN 001033

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2014
TAGS: PTER, PHUM, PREL, DA
SUBJECT: FORMER GUANTANAMO DETAINEE PUBLISHES BOOK/ALLEGES
MISTREATMENT

CLASSIFIED BY: COUNSELOR FOR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
BLAIR HALL, REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY. THE RELEASE OF SLIMANE HADJ ABDERRAHMANE'S
BIOGRAPHY HAS GENERATED RENEWED MEDIA ATTENTION IN THE FORMER
DANISH GUANTANAMO DETAINEE'S CASE, BUT THE POLITICAL FALLOUT
REMAINS RELATIVELY CONTAINED SO FAR. WHILE ABDERRAHMANE
CONTINUES TO AVOID PUBLIC APPEARANCES SINCE HIS FEBRUARY 24
RETURN TO DENMARK, THE LOCAL MEDIA HAS GIVEN THE MISTREATMENT
ALLEGATIONS IN HIS MEMOIR PROMINENT PLAY, AS WELL AS HIS
STATEMENTS IN SUPPORT OF JIHAD. IN RESPONSE TO OPPOSITION
POLITICIANS' EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERN, DANISH OFFICIALS NOTE
THAT ABDERRAHMANE HAD NOT MADE MISTREATMENT ALLEGATIONS TO
THEM PRIOR TO THE BOOK RELEASE AND DECLINED OFFERS OF MEDICAL
ASSISTANCE UPON HIS RETURN. END SUMMARY.

THE BOOK

2. (U) TWO DANISH JOURNALISTS HAVE WRITTEN A BIOGRAPHY OF
Current Class: CONFIDENTIAL Page: 1
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
REVIEW AUTHORITY: SHARON E AHMAD DATE/CASE ID: 26 OCT 2004 200303827 UNCLASSIFIED DOS-002408

Current Class: CONFIDENTIAILJNCLASSIFIED Current Handling: n/a Document Number: 2004COPENH01033 Page:. Channel: 2 n/a
SLIMANE HADJ ABDERRAHMANE BASED ON 50 HOURS OF TAPED INTERVIEWS WITH THE FORMER GUANTANAMO DETAINEE THE

JOURNALISTS AND PUBLISHER RELEASED MATERIAL FROM THE BOOK TO

THE DANISH MEDIA ON JUNE 6 IN ANTICIPATION OF A JUNE 8 BOOK

LAUNCHING. ABDERRAHMANE HIMSELF HAS NOT APPEARED IN PUBLIC

IN CONNECTION WITH THE BOOK. HE IS NOT REPORTEDLY SLATED TO
MAKE PERSONAL APPEARANCES TO PROMOTE THE BOOK "DANISH
PRISONER AT GUANTANAMO: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT." DANISH TV AND
RADIO HAVE PLAYED SHORT EXCERPTS OF ABDERRAHMANE SPEAKING ON

HIS BIOGRAPHERS' AUDIOTAPES.

MISTREATMENT ACCUSATIONS

3.
(U) ACCORDING TO MEDIA REPORTS ABDERRAHMANE CLAIMS HE WAS
"BEATEN AND HUMILIATED" BY AMERICAN TROOPS IN A PRISON AT
KANDAHAR AIRPORT WHERE HE WAS DETAINED BEFORE BEING
TRANSFERRED TO GUANTANAMO. SPECIFICALLY, HE ASSERTS THAT ON
ONE OCCASION WHEN HE WAS HOODED, HE AND OTHER PRISONERS WERE
BEATEN AND KICKED BY AMERICAN SOLDIERS. PRIOR TO BEING SENT
TO GUANTANAMO, HE CLAIMS SIX TO EIGHT U.S. SOLDIERS MOCKED
AND PHOTOGRAPHED HIM IN A MILITARY TENT AT A TIME WHEN HE WAS
MANACLED AND NAKED. ABDERRAHMANE COMPLAINS THAT THE MILITARY
BARBER WHO CUT HIS HAIR AND SHAVED HIS BEARD STRUCK HIM ON
THE HEAD WITH THE ELECTRIC RAZOR AFTER IT JAMMED.

4.
(U) ABDERRAHMANE IS LESS CRITICAL OF HIS TREATMENT AT
GUANTANAMO, ALTHOUGH HE RELATES THAT HE AND OTHER PRISONERS
UPON ARRIVAL WERE MADE TO SIT STILL WITH THEIR HEADS DOWN FOR
A LONG PERIOD OF TIME AND STRUCK IF THEY MOVED. ABDERRAHMANE
PROFESSES UNDERSTANDING THAT THE DIFFICULTY OF GATHERING
EVIDENCE IN AFGHANISTAN LENGTHENED THE NECESSARY DETENTION
TIME FOR HIM AND OTHER PRISONERS, BUT IS CRITICAL OF THE
ORIGINAL DETENTION FACILITIES AT GUANTANAMO, WHICH HE LIKENS
"LESS SPACE THAN THAT ALLOTTED TO BIRDS AT A ZOO."

5.
(SBU) DANISH OFFICIALS TOLD THE MEDIA JUNE 6 THAT
ABDERRAHMANE HAD NOT MADE ACCUSATIONS OF MISTREATMENT TO THEM
DURING INTERVIEWS AT GUANTANAMO OR SINCE THE FORMER
DETAINEE'S RETURN TO COPENHAGEN ON FEBRUARY 24. THEY ALSO
HAVE NOTED THAT ABDERRAHMANE, AFTER RETURNING TO DENMARK,
SAID HE HAD BEEN TREATED "OK" AND DECLINED THE DANISH
GOVERNMENT'S OFFER OF ANY FOLLOW-UP MEDICAL TREATMENT.

MAKING A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE AFOREMENTIONED INCIDENTS AND
TORTURE, ABDERRAHMANE REPORTEDLY TOLD HIS BIOGRAPHERS THAT HE
HAD NOT BEEN SUBJECTED TO TORTURE. ACCORDING TO HIS COMMENTS
TO HIS BIOGRAPHERS, THE FORMER DETAINEE DOES NOT FAULT THE
DANISH GOVERNMENT FOR ITS HANDLING OF HIS CASE.

Current Class: CONFIDENTIAL Page: 2

UNCLASSIFIED DOS-002409

CLASSIFIED
Current Class: CONFIDENTIAIN Page: 3
Current Handling: n/a
Document Number: 2004COPENH01033 Channel: n/a

POLITICAL REACTION

6. (SBU) ABDERRAHMANE'S ACCUSATIONS HAVE PROMPTED NEW
QUESTIONS FROM OPPOSITION PARLIAMENTARIANS. THE FAR LEFT
UNITY LIST HAS CALLED FOR A MEETING OF THE FOREIGN POLICY
COMMITTEE TO REVIEW -- AGAIN -- WHETHER THE FOREIGN MINISTRY
INFORMED PARLIAMENT FULLY. SPOKESMEN FOR THE SOCIAL
DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAVE NOTED THAT ABDERRAHMANE'S ASSERTION
THAT HE WAS FIRST DETAINED IN PAKISTAN IS INCONSISTENT WITH
DANISH MFA INFORMATION THAT HE WAS "CAUGHT WHILE ENGAGED IN
MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN AFGHANISTAN" AND HAVE FAULTED THE
DANISH GOVERNMENT FOR NOT SEEKING MORE INFORMATION FROM THE
DETAINEE ABOUT HIS TREATMENT. DANISH FOREIGN MINISTER
RELEASED A STATEMENT TO THE PRESS NOTING THAT "AT ANY
SPECIFIC TIME, I HAVE ANSWERED THE FOLKETING AND BRIEFED THE
FOREIGN POLICY COMMITTEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH MY KNOWLEDGE AT
THAT TIME."

COPENHAGEN 00001033 002 OF 002

POLITICIANS ARE LIKELY

. TO BE BOTH MINDFUL AND WARY OF ABDERRAHMANE'S POLITICAL
MOTIVATION. ABDERRAHMANE IS REPORTED TO HAVE STATED "IF
MOSLEMS ARE ATTACKED AND INVADED, ACCORDING TO ISLAM, WE HAVE
TO DEFEND OURSELVES, OUR FAMILIES, PROPERTY, LAND AND FAITH.
SUCH IS THE JIHAD." HE ALSO SAYS HE DID NOT FEAR THAT HE
WOULD BE EXECUTED, BUT WAS CONFIDENT THAT IF HE HAD BEEN
KILLED, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN "REWARDED IN PARADISE." ACCORDING
TO HIS BIOGRAPHERS, THE FORMER DETAINEE WAS SPURRED BY MEDIA
COVERAGE OF RUSSIAN ATTACKS IN CHECHNYA TO TRAVEL TO
AFGHANISTAN TO RECEIVE MILITARY TRAINING TO FIGHT AGAINST
SOLDIERS (BUT NOT CIVILIANS, ACCORDING TO THE BIOGRAPHERS'
ACCOUNT).
BERNSTEIN

NNNN
Current Class: CONFIDENTIAL Page: 3

UNCLASSIFIED DOS-002410

Doc_nid: 
6627
Doc_type_num: 
68