DOS Cable re: U.N. Opposition to the Rendition to China of the Uighur Detainees Held at Guantanamo Bay

This cable from the U.S. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland to Sec. State Powell is a forward of a letter received from the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions and Torture. The letter requests that the U.S. not deport or render the Uighur detainees held at Guantanamo to the Chinese government.

Doc_type: 
Cable
Doc_date: 
Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED

NotesTele.TXT

RELEASED IN FULL
UNCLASSIFIED
TELEGRAM June 02, 2004

To:

SECSTATE WASHDC - ROUTINE

Action:

IO

From:

USMISSION GENEVA (GENEVA 1563 - ROUTINE)

TAGS:

PHUM

Captions: None

Subject: LETTER FROM SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS ON EXTRAJUDICIAL,
SUMMARY OR ARBITRARY EXECUTIONS AND TORTURE ON THE
DETENTION OF 22 ETHNIC-UIGHURS OF CHINESE NATIONALITY
AT GUANTANAMO BAY

Ref:

None

1.
Mission has received the following communication from Ms.
Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary
or arbitrary executions and Mr. Thea Van Boven, Special
Rapporteur on torture regarding 22 ethnic-Uighurs of Chinese
nationality being held at Guantanamo Bay.

2.
Begin text:

Excellency,

We have the honour to address you in our respective
capacities as Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or
arbitrary executions and Special Rapporteur on torture
pursuant to the Commission on Human Rights resolutions
2001/45 and 2C01/62 respectively.

In this connection, we would like to draw the attention of

your Excellency's Government to information we have received

regarding about 22 ethnic-Uighurs of Chinese nationality.

It is alleged that they are held at Camp 4 at the military

base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and are at risk of imminent

forcible return to China. The detainees were allegedly

captured in the context of the armed conflict in Afghanistan

and transferred to United States custody around January 2002.

It is also alleged that a Chinese government delegation

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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: WILLIAM J GEHRON
UNCLASSIFIED
DATE/CASE ID: 16 NOV 2004 200303827 DOS-001311
UNCLASSIFIED

NotesTele.TXT

visited Guantanamo in September 2002 and participated in
interrogations of the ethnic-Uighur detainees. It is alleged
that the detainees were subjected to intimidation and
threats, and to "stress and duress" techniques such as
environmental manipulation, forced sitting for many hours,
and sleep deprivation, some of which were carried out on the
instructions'of the Chinese delegation.

While welcoming reports of the release of the detainees,

concern is expressed that they may be at risk for torture or

other forms of ill-treatment, or execution should they be

returned.

Without in any way implying any determination on the facts of
the case, we would like to refer your Excellency's Government
to the fundamental principlesset forth in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights. Articles 3 and 6 of these
instruments, respectively, provide that every individual has
the right to life and security of the person, that this right
shall be protected by law and that no one shall be
arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.

We would also like to refer your Excellency's Government to

the following norms and principles which are particularly

relevant to the above allegations:

Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of
Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, Economic and
Social Council resolution 1989/65 of 24 May 1989. In
particular, principle 5 provides that no one shall be
involuntarily returned or extradited to a country where there
are substantial grounds for believing that he or she may
become a victim of extra-legal, arbitrary or summary
execution.

We would like to recall your Excellency's Government to the

fundamental principles enunciated in article 5 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reiterated in
article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights, where it is provided that no person should
be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment. The Human Rights Committee, in its
General Comment 20 on article 7, had stated that State

Parties "must not expose individuals to the danger of torture
or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment upon
return to another country by way of extradition, expulsion,
or refoulement." We would further mention that under article

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UNCLASSIFIED DOS-001312

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3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, no State Party shall
expel, return (refouler), or extradite a person to another
State where there are substantial grounds for believing that
the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
In our opinion, the principle contained in the Human Rights
Committee's statement and the above provision of the
Convention Torture represents an inherent part of the overall

fundamental obligation to avoid contributing in any way to a
violation of the prohibition of torture and other cruel,

inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

In relation to a previousl letter of the Special Rapporteur

on torture dated 8 December 2003, concerning the release of
detainees from Guantanamo Bay (E/CN.4/2004/56/Add.l, para

1821), the Special Rapporteurs note your Excellency's

Government's response dated 3 March 2004. There it was
stated that the United States seeks specific assurances from
concerned governments, particularly of humane treatment,
before return, and would take steps to investigate credible
allegations of torture and taken appropriate action if there
were reason to believe that those assurances were not being
honoured. We would like to appeal to your Excellency's
Government to refrain from deporting the aforementioned
persons to China, unless your Excellency's Government obtains
an unequivocal guarantee from the Government of China that
they would not be subjected to torture or any other forms of
ill-treatment upon return, and that a system to monitor the
treatment of the persons in question has been put into place
with a view to ensuring that they will be treated with
respect of their human dignity.

We would greatly appreciate receiving information from your

Excellency's Government concerning the steps taken by the

competent authorities in compliance with the provisions

contained in the international legal instruments referred to

above, .as they apply to the aforementioned persons.

Accept, Excellency, the assurances of our highest

consideration.

Astra Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary
or arbitrary executions.

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UNCLASSIFIED DOS-001313

UNCLASSIFIED
NotesTele.TXT
Theo Van Boven, Special Rapporteur on torture.

End text.

3. Mission will transmit by fax a copy of the letter to
IO/SHA, attention Director.
Moley

Additional Addressees:
None

cc:

•USMISSION USUN N Y
Distribution
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273E54 020642Z /38

R 0206152 JUN 04
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0866
INFO USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

UNCLAS GENEVA 001563

STATE FOR IO/SHA, DRL/MLA, L/HRR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM
SUBJECT: LETTER FROM SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS ON EXTRAJUDICIAL,
SUMMARY OR ARBITRARY EXECUTIONS AND TORTURE ON THE
DETENTION OF 22 ETHNIC-UIGHURS OF CHINESE NATIONALITY AT
GUANTANAMO BAY

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68