DOS Cable re: Letter from Secretary of State Powell to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

State Department cable to Geneva Mission to deliver a letter to Theo van Boven, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, assuring him that "the [Guantanamo] detainees are not being subjected to mental or physical abuse," detailing nature of detainees confinement, and explaining why detainees not entitled to counsel.

Doc_type: 
Cable
Doc_date: 
Tuesday, April 2, 2002
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Doc_text: 

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SOURCE: CBLEXCLS.009951
DRAFTED BY: L/PM:DBOWKER -- 04/02/2002 6478
APPROVED BY: IO/SHA:MALVAREZ
L:WTAFT

L/NP:ECUMMINGS
L/HRR:ASURENA

DOD/OGC:JBURGER
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DESIRED DISTRIBUTION:
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7DC9BE 021427Z /38
0 021424Z APR 02
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM, US
SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE:

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GUANTANAMO BAY

REF: (A) GENEVA 166 (B) STATE 13578

1.
FOLLOWING IS THE RESPONSE FROM THE UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT TO A LETTER FROM THEO VAN BOVEN, SPECIAL
RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE, REGARDING THE DETAINEES AT GUANTANAMO
BAY. AMBASSADOR IS INSTRUCTED TO TRANSMIT. THIS RESPONSE
IMMEDIATELY TO MR. VAN BOHEN.

2.
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: SHARON E AHMAD DATE/CASE' ID: 04 NOV 2004 200303827
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THIS LETTER RESPONDS TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 2002, IN
WHICH YOU ASKED FOR CLARIFICATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES
SURROUNDING THE DETAINEES CURRENTLY BEING HELD AT GUANTANAMO
BAY. SPECIFICALLY, YOU STATED THAT YOU WOULD APPRECIATE AN
ASSURANCE OF THEIR HUMANE TREATMENT.

I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THE DETAINEES ARE BEING TREATED
HUMANELY. AS PRESIDENT BUSH'S PRESS SECRETARY ANNOUNCED ON
FEBRUARY 7, 2002, "THE UNITED STATES HAS TREATED AND WILL
CONTINUE TO TREAT ALL TALIBAN AND AL QAEDA DETAINEES IN
GUANTANAMO BAY HUMANELY AND CONSISTENT WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF
THE GENEVA CONVENTION."

THIS MEANS THAT THE DETAINEES ARE NOT BEING SUBJECTED TO
MENTAL OR PHYSICAL ABUSE. THEY ARE BEING TREATED WITH
HUMANITY AND RESPECT FOR THE INHERENT DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN
PERSON.

THE DETAINEES ARE RECEIVING MANY ADDITIONAL PRIVILEGES AND
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BENEFITS AS WELL. THEY HAVE BEEN PROVIDED WITH NEW CLOTHES
AND SHOES, ADEQUATE SHELTER, SLEEPING PADS AND BLANKETS,
THREE MEALS A DAY THAT MEET RELIGIOUS DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS,
WASHCLOTHS AND TOWELS, SHOWERS, PERSONAL TOILETRIES, AND THE
OPPORTUNITY TO WORSHIP. THEY ARE ALSO RECEIVING EXCELLENT
AND COMPREHENSIVE MEDICAL CARE AT U.S. EXPENSE, INCLUDING
DENTAL CARE, MEDICATION, EYE EXAMINATIONS AND CORRECTIVE
EYEWEAR, AND IN SERIOUS CASES, HOSPITALIZATION AND SURGERY.

THE DETAINEES ARE NOT BEING HELD INCOMMUNICADO. THEY ARE
PERMITTED TO MEET INDIVIDUALLY AND PRIVATELY WITH
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED
CROSS. SOME HAVE BEEN VISITED BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FROM

' THEIR COUNTRY OF NATIONALITY AND MANY ARE COMMUNICATING BY
MAIL WITH THEIR FAMILIES. THAT SAID, I TRUST THAT YOU CAN
APPRECIATE THE NEED FOR CERTAIN SECURITY PRECAUTIONS IN LIGHT
OF THE SERIOUS THREAT OF PHYSICAL HARM POSED BY THE DETAINEES
TO THE MILITARY PERSONNEL TRANSPORTING AND GUARDING THEM.

THE DETAINEES DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO LAWYERS BECAUSE, AS YOU
NO DOUBT ARE AWARE, ENEMY COMBATANTS GENERALLY ARE NOT
ENTITLED TO COUNSEL WHEN THEY ARE BEING DETAINED IN THE
COURSE OF ONGOING HOSTILITIES. THE UNITED STATES IS WELL
WITHIN ITS WIDELY RECOGNIZED RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
TO DETAIN ENEMY COMBATANTS FOR THE DURATION OF AN ARMED
CONFLICT.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR INQUIRY AND PLEASE ACCEPT THE ASSURANCES
OF MY HIGHEST CONSIDERATION.

END TEXT.

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Doc_nid: 
6501
Doc_type_num: 
68