Letter from Ambassador Pierre-Richard Prosper to Dr. Helmut Hausel re: Treatment of Detainees at Guantanamo

This letter from Amb. Prosper to Helmut Hausle is in response to a letter Mr. Hausle sent to Sec. of State Powell concerning the status and treatment of detainees at Guantanamo. Amb. Prosper states that "The United States and its Coalition partners are at war with the al Qaida network and remnants of the Taliban who continue to support them. The al Qaida network today is a multinational enterprise with operations in more than 60 countries; there are active hostilities are ongoing daily in Afghanistan and around the world; and We continue to fight against enemy combatants who are planning and conducting attacks against us. He then states that: detainees, regardless of their lack of status as POWs under the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, will be treated consistent with American values and the principles of the international law of armed conflict; United States Government personnel are not permitted to torture detainees or participate in torture by others; and the authority to detain enemy combatants for the duration of hostilities exists in law independent of the civil judicial or criminal justice system. Finally, Amb. Prosper states "The United States is strongly committed to protecting and advancing human rights.

Doc_type: 
Letter
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED

RELEASED IN PART

B6, B7(C)
Dr. Helmut Hausle.
B6

Dear Dr. Hausle:

Thank you for your letter of April 28, 2003 to Secretary
Powell expressing concern related tol 'who
is said to be held under U.S. control at U.S. Naval Base
located Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The United States and its Coalition partners are at war
with the al Qaida network and remnants of the Taliban who
continue to support them. The al Qaida network today is a
criminal enterprise with operations in more than 60 countries.
Active hostilities are ongoing daily in Afghanistan and around
the world. We continue to fight against enemy combatants who
are planning and conducting attacks against us. In this
context, operational and security concerns compel me to
refrain from confirming or commenting on the circumstances of
capture, transfer or detention of specific individuals
believed to be held as enemy combatants in the course of that
conflict.

Let me assure you, however, that President Bush has
affirmed on any number of occasions that al Qaida and 'Taliban
detainees, regardless of their lack of status as POWs under
the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, will be treated
consistent with American values and the principles of the
international law of armed conflict. He has determined that
United States Armed Forces will treat enemy combatants
humanely, and, to the extent consistent with military
necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the
Third Geneva Convention of 1949.

The United States is providing detainees excellent
medical and dental care - the same type of care available to

U.S. troops. For example, detainees have received routine

B7(C)

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
REVIEW AUTHORITY: SHARON E AHMAD
DATE/CASE ID: 16 NOV 2004 200303827 UNCLASSIFIED
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medical and dental care, prescription medication, eye
examinations and corrective eyewear, repaired or new
prosthetic devices, and, when serious medical concerns
require, hospitalization and surgery.

The authority to detain enemy combatants for the duration
of hostilities exists in law independent of the civil judicial
or criminal justice system. In this war, as in every war,
enemy combatants have no legal right to counsel or access to
courts for the purpose of challenging their detention while
hostilities are ongoing. While some enemy combatants may face
criminal prosecution before the end of hostilities, nations at
war traditionally have waited until hostilities cease to bring
such charges. If and when an enemy is charged with a crime,
he would then be entitled to access to counsel and would
receive a fair trial.

Sincerely,

Pierre-Richard Prosper

UNCLASSIFIED

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Doc_nid: 
5963
Doc_type_num: 
69