Letter to Colin Powell re: US detention of juvenile enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay

Letter to Colin Powell expressing concern over the detention of children, including Omar Khadr, at Guantanamo Bay.

Doc_type: 
Letter
Doc_date: 
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Doc_rel_date: 
Monday, November 22, 2004
Doc_text: 

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UNCLASSIFIED

10-12-03 23:53 ~3271218087 VVAH PEETERS -1~880012026472283 ~C"
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,

RELEASED IN PART

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V"n PJ!ETER.
L--____~12003.[2.10
Colin PaweD. Secmary of State,
Deplrtmeld orStBtc:, 2201 C
stroot. NW,
US-Washington DC 20520

Dear Seer-dary ofState.,
Jam wrltirlg to expTeII 1I1y deep concern Ilt I"CpOftS rhat IeVCrai childnm are arnolijl the man tIwI. 600 detainees being held in the US Naval bae in Ouantanamo Bay. 1 request your asaunnce that the USA will abide by ill iDtcrtUltiunai obllsationl in re1alioll In the.e)'OUJl8 detaiaeu. T'he reponB indicate that a ·handfUl· ofc:.biJdrea,. dc:scribcd AI beiDa between the agCl of 11 and IS years old., were ·dISCCIvered-by tM mtftoritia in Guantanamo. It ~ also reported that the children were tnIDIfemd. poIIibly from tho Air baae in Bagram. eutier thia yeat. 1 was also illfonned that • 16-yeai'-old Canadian National, Omar Kbadr. wu tral\JfelUd In late 2002 &om AfsIwWtan. lJItcmationallaw antilltandards recoam-the putfcular vulncrability ofchildren and require, arnona otbet thingl. that children be detained ollly a8 a lut rcson and for the sborte.t time pouib1e. The dDfinition ora ·child", accord ins to intemationallegal Ilandanla. i.anyone tinder the age ofll.. 1 urge you to eDJUI'C that all neceaary p-otedionJ and safejU&Tda be extended to all cllilcfm\, ioc:lucfins any J6 and J1 yean old who may be held in the nava' bue, includins Omllr Kbadr. [am ftnther coftlCemed u repan. Indica"". that the children deta1neet may b. I&IbJoctod to interropliOll without 8CCON to MY lepl repceeenta.tives or to their rcla1ivea. It tcemJ somewhat irome that thO USA. ODe ofthe lint coaJlCrios to rat~the Optional prorocol to tho COnvoatiOIl Oft the ltisbts ofthe Child on the involV«Denl ofchildren in armed coafliet. ia ftOW treIdiJIs tbeIe children in a way that uncIenn1n.. fimdamentaJ protedioa. UDder the body orUte main treaty itself. Under this Protocol. the USA bu the obligation co auist Ip dIo dcmobilil&tion and ~iJitatio" ottonner child IOldien. MA} I abo remind you Uat the USA hal Jisncd the Convention on the Rishts ofthe Child bindina under intanltionat law, DOt to do anythiua to dcIca the object and purpoa ofthe truly pendina a ratificatiorl decision? I W"8e you once mo~to take imo OO1Illdcratiol'l tho specific ncodl of~hiIdren and to aivc 1hem acc:nl to lawyers. their &kInilios aod the courtI as lOOn u possible. Theae cbildren ahould be promptly charpd aDd tried within a reasonable time in aeeordaltcc wftb &ir trial standanb, or rclouecl into appropriate and afc circum~.
, thank yOd fbr takina this leuer into contldcntion.
YOIIl"llinI;cely.
YVIID PEETERS

UNITED STATES DEPARTME~TOFSTATE REVIEW AUTHORJTY: FRANK E SCHMELZER DATE/CASE ID: 24 SEP 2004 200303827

UNCLASSIFIED
.'.-., •.·.c·..·._
005-000269

Doc_nid: 
5927
Doc_type_num: 
69