White House Memo re: Office of Press Secretary Fact Sheet on Status of Detainees at Guantanamo

This is a White House press release describing the treatment of detainees as humane and consistent with the Geneva Conventions. It states that all Guantanamo detainees are being provided: three meals a day that meet Muslim dietary laws; water; medical care; clothing; shoes; shelter; showers; soap; and toilet articles.

Doc_type: 
Non-legal Memo
Doc_date: 
Thursday, February 7, 2002
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Doc_text: 

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RELEASED IN FULL
TEE WHITE HOUSE

Office.of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February , 2002

FACT SHEET

Status of Detainees at Guantanamo

United States Policy.


The United States is treating and will continue to treat
all of the individuals detained at Guantanamo 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 President has determined that the Geneva Convention
applies to the Taliban detainees, but not to the al-Qaida
detainees.


Al•Qaida is not a state party to the Geneva Convention; it
is a foreign terrorist group. As such, its members are not
entitled to POW status.


Although we never recognized the Taliban as the legitimate
Afghan government, Afghanistan is a party to the
Convention, and the President has determined that the
Taliban are covered by the Convention. Under the terms of
the Geneva Convention, however, the Taliban detainees do
not qualify as POWs-


Therefore, neither the Taliban nor al-Qaida detainees are
entitled to POW status.


Even though the detainees are not entitled to POW
privileges, they will be provided many POW privileges as a
matter of policy.

All detainees at Guantanamo are being provided:


three meals a day that meet Muslim dietary laws


water


medical care


clothing and shoes


shelter


showers


soap and toilet articles

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE REVIEW AUTHORITY: WILLIAM J GEHRON
DATE/CASE ID: 08 NOV- 2004 200303827 UNCLASSIFIEDUDOS-002586
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2

foam sleeping pads and blankets


towels and washcloths


the opportunity to worship


correspondence materials, and the means to•send mail


the ability to receive packages of food and clothing,
subject to security screening

The detainees will not be subjected to physical or mental abuse
or cruel treatment. The :D=gamational Committee of the Red
Cross has visited and will continue to be able to visit the
deta pees private

T e detainees will be permitted to raise
concerns about their conditions and we will attempt to address

those concerns consistent with security.
Housing. We are building facilities in Guantanamo more
appropriate for housing the detainees on a long-term basis. The
detainees now at Guantanamo are being housed in temporary open­air shelters until these more long-term facilities can be
arranged. Their current shelters are reasonable in light of the
serious security risk posed by these detainees and the mild
climate of Cuba.

POW Privileges the Detainees will not receive. The detainees
will receive much of the treatment normally afforded to POWs by

the Third Geneva Convention. However, the detainees will not
receive some of the specific privileges afforded to POWs,
including:


access to a canteen to purchase food, soap, and tobacco


a monthly advance of pay
Iv the ability to have and consult personal financial accounts


the ability to receive scientific equipment, musical'

instruments, or sports outfits .
Many detainees at GUantanamo pose a severe security risk to
those responsible for guarding them and to each other. Some of
these individuals demonstrated how dangerous they are in
uprisings at Mazar-e-Sharif and in Pakistan. The United States

must take into account the.need for security in establishing the conditions for detention at Guantanamo.
Background on Geneva Conventions. The Third Geneva Convention of 1,949 is an international treaty designed to protect prisoners of war from Inhumane treatment at the hands of their captors in conflicts covered by the Convention. It is among four treaties
UNCLASSIFIED
DOS-002587
issc ruLTILI:ITUNCLASSIFIED
NO.770.

P.4/9

FEB. 7.2002 6:55PM

3

concluded in the wake of WWII to reduce the human suffering
caused by war, These four treaties provide protections for four
different classes of people: the military wounded and sick in
land conflicts; the military wounded, sick and shipwrecked in
conflicts at sea; military persons and civilians accompanying
the armed forces in the field who are captured and qualify as
prisoners of war; and civilian non-combatants who are interned
or otherwise found in the hands of a party (e.g. is a military

occupation) during an armed conflict.

# # #

UNCLASSIFIED
DOS-002588

Doc_nid: 
6660
Doc_type_num: 
63