Letter from Carl Henrik Ehrencrona to Peter Althin re: Detainee Mehdi Mohammed Ghezali

Letter Carl Henrik Ehrencrona regarding status of Swedish detainee named Mehdi Mohammed Ghezali. The letter is from a member of the Swedish Parliament in response to Mr. Ehrencrona's efforts to obtain information and or the release of Mr. Ghazali.

Friday, September 27, 2002
Tuesday, January 11, 2005

\. .
The letter is dated September 27, 2002
Ministry of Foreign Affairs To: Attorney Peter AIthin
Head of Legal Affairs STOCKHOLM

Regarding Mehdi Mohammed Ghezali
After we had our last contact ;n the middle ofAugust, the Ministry ofForeign Affairs has had a meeting with the father. At that meeting the Ministry infonned the father that his son is alive, at good health, receiving food and first class medical attention and, like the other prisoners, was kept under regular supervision by the lr.1temational Committee of the Red Cross.
Since the beginning of September, we still haven't received any reaction from the Americans concerning our questions. Therefore, Cabinet Secretary Hans Dahlgren called for a meeting with the American Ambassador on September 3. The Cabinet Secretary repeated the questions at that meeting and stressed the urgency that the Swedish Government, as well as the family, has the fight to receive an answer. Further, the Cabinet Secretary forwarded a request on humanitarian grounds to visit the Swedish prisoner at the Guantanamo base. A fonnal request was made by the Swedish Embassy in Washington a few days later.
I can also infonn you that this issue has been addressed by the Minister of Justice, Tomas Bodstrom. when he, on September 14, met his American colleague John Ashcroft at the infonnal meeting with EU Justice and Internal ministers.
Last Tuesday we received the reaction. The Americans are repeating their earlier arguments that they consider the prisoners G.t Guantanamo as "enemy combatants", and that these prisoners can be detained for as long as the conflict with AI Qaida is continuing. This conflict is, according to the Americans, still going on irrespective of whether the prisoners are prosecuted or not. The Americans say that so far nobody has been prosecuted and no decision has been made on when such processes might occur. The Americans also emphasize that the deH:ntion at Guantanamo is not a punishment, but aims at preventing the prisoners from re-engaging in any actions against the United States.
In addition, the Americans assert that the pfisoners are treated according to the Geneva Convention, gets three meals per day, medical allention and the possibility to practice their religion. Prisoners are allowed to both send and receive letters from family
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members, but they point out that not all prisoners have recei vcd letters and also that not all have used the possibility to send letters themselves. They state that no confimlation regarding specific letters can be made.
Finally, references are made to the Swedish request regarding a new visit. They only allow police-or intelligence agency related visits. Other kinds ofvisits, including consular, are not allowed.
The American answer is -not unexpectedly -of course a disappointment. The Swedish Government is now considering how to move on. You will naturally be informed about the ongoing developments in this matter.
Carl Henrik Ehrencrona
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