DOS Form Letter re: Addressing Family Members Visiting Guantanamo Detainees

This is a State Department form letter to be used as a template for addressing inquires and questions concerning how family members of Guantanamo detainees may or may not visit their relatives being detained at Guantanamo and the rational for the detention and the standard of treatment for the detainees.

Thursday, December 2, 2004
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

UNCLASSIFIED RELEASED IN PART Dear: B7(C) Thank you for your recent expression of concern regarding the alleged apprehension of a young Afghan man,1 louring a U.S. military operation which may have B7(C) occurred) As a general rule, the U.S. government does not disclose the specific circumstances surrounding the capture of a particular detainee due to operational, security, and force protection concerns. Furthermore, the U.S. military is not in a position to confirm or deny the actual capture or detention of personnel within Afghanistan. If individuals are captured or detained within Afghanistan, following their processing at a holding facility within Afghanistan, they will either be released or recommended for transfer to the U.S. Naval Station located at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for further processing. Upon their arrival at Guantanamo Bay, the detainee's government will be promptly notified of such transfer. Regarding visits, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross have access and freely conduct visits of any detainee under U.S. control. As noted above, foreign governments are permitted to schedule a visit of their national. These visits are only authorized for law enforcement and intelligence purposes. Government visits of a consular nature are not authorized. Visits by attorneys, family members, and members of non-governmental organizations or public interest groups are not permitted. The U.S. government is currently engaged in an ongoing armed conflict. No law or custom of war provides that families have any right of access to detained enemy combatants. Rest assured, the U.S. has treated and will continue to treat all detained personnel humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949. The bottom line is that all detainees are being treated well, and the U.S. government is acting in accordance with both U.S. domestic and international law. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: SHARON E AHMAD DOS-000462 DATE/CASE ID: 16 NOV 2004 200303827 UNCLASSIFIED