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Cable sobre la necesidad de mejorar la imagen de Guantánamo

En 2009 la representante personal de derechos humanos de Javier Solana, Mr. PESC, escribe un informe al embajador Clint Williamson para "mostrar a los detenidos de bajo riesgo bajo una nueva luz"

ID: 193856
Date: 2009-02-25 18:46:00
Origin: 09BRUSSELS269
Source: USEU Brussels
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 09BRUSSELS120 09BRUSSELS159 09BRUSSELS268
Destination: VZCZCXRO2517
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHBS #0269/01 0561846
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251846Z FEB 09
FM USEU BRUSSELS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 000269

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/WCI, S/CT, EUR/ERA, INL, INL/PC, INL/AAE, L/LEI
DRL/MLGA
NSC FOR KVIEN
DOD FOR OSD/OFFICE OF DETAINEE AFFAIRS
JUSTICE FOR CRIMINAL DIVISION, OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL
AFFAIRS
HOMELAND SECURITY FOR OFFICES OF POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL
AFFAIRS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2019
TAGS: PREL, KAWK, KISL, PTER, EUN
SUBJECT: GUANTANAMO: AMBASSADOR WILLIAMSON CONFERS WITH EU
OFFICIALS

REF: A. BRUSSELS 120
B. BRUSSELS 159
C. BRUSSELS 268

Classified By: USEU Political M-C Chris Davis for reasons 1.4 (b) and (
d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: S/WCI Ambassador Clint Williamson and
European Union (EU) Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de
Kerchove discussed de Kerchove's upcoming whitepaper for the
EU Council on detainee issues and its relevance for
developing a common EU position on the topic. The two also
spoke about which governments are open to accepting detainees
and how, if possible, to mitigate member state concerns
regarding detainees' freedom of movement in the Schengen
zone. De Kerchove is in favor of an EU blessing of bilateral
negotiations between member states and the US on detainee
transfers, and said there is an EU precedent for placing
travel restrictions on residency permit holders (one
possible solution to Schengen concerns).

2. (C) Williamson also met with the EU Parliamentarians
responsible for the now ratified EU Joint Resolution on
Guantanamo, congratulating them on receiving support from
across the political spectrum. Separately, the Ambassador
sat down with Riina Kionka, Javier Solana's Personal
Representative for Human Rights. She suggested a stronger
public information campaign on the nature of the detainees at
Guantanamo, and expressed concern that EU Member States were
under intense Chinese pressure not to accept Uighur
detainees. END SUMMARY.

----------------------------
De Kerchove's EU Perspective
----------------------------

3. (C) On his tenth day of travels within the EU,
Ambassador Williamson met in Brussels February 17 with EU
Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove. The C/T
Coordinator briefly discussed his upcoming whitepaper on
detainee issues, which was tasked to him by the EU Council.
It will include 15 "non-controversial" principles to guide EU
consensus building, as well as lessons learned from the
Church of the Nativity resettlement (ref A), information on
previous U.S. policies and the new executive order, and
potential resettlement options outside and within the EU.
Ambassador Williamson provided general information on the
number of released detainees who had reengaged in terrorism,
as well as the distinction between "cleared for release" and
"cleared for transfer" designations by the USG.

4. (C) On forming an EU position, De Kerchove indicated that
a favorable scenario would be a consensus agreement allowing
individual members to accept detainees, provided transfers
are not forced on any unwilling EU member. Williamson noted
that the Czechs, in their capacity as EU president, were
committed to developing this consensus position. The two
then went on to discuss concerns over former detainees'
freedom of movement in the Schengen zone. Williamson stated
that it is a common concern among EU members, and floated the
possibility of former detainees having restrictions placed on
their travel, a stipulation that some of the detainees and
their lawyers have consented to in principle. De Kerchove
replied that a precedent existed for such restrictions, which
he felt could help mitigate Schengen concerns of member
states, though they would be difficult to enforce in
practice. The Ambassador cited the February 26, 2009 Justice
and Home Affairs Informal Meeting as an important near-term
milestone in building momentum towards an EU position. De
Kerchove was of the opinion that it was a bit early to expect
an official position given the complex nature of the issue.
He had hoped discussions would occur first among ambassadors
within the Committee of Permanent Representatives, however
the Czech Presidency insisted on moving forward with
discussions among Justice and Interior Ministers.

5. (C) Conversation then shifted to the USG process moving
forward. Williamson described two parallel U.S. review
processes; (1) review of the files of all 242 detainees at

BRUSSELS 00000269 002 OF 003


Guantanamo, and (2) review of policies involving detention,
Guantanamo, and related issues. Files must be collected from
multiple departments, agencies, and locations for review by
an interagency team, including DOJ prosecutors and
representatives from the State, Defense, and Homeland
Security departments, as well as the intelligence agencies.
The U.S. will prioritize cases of detainees being considered
for resettlement by EU governments.

6. (C) Williamson and De Kerchove agreed to consult further
after the February 26 JHA Informal meeting and before
anticipated travel by JHA Commissioner Jacques Barrot, Czech
Interior Minister Langer, and De Kerchove to Washington in
mid March.

-------------------------
"We need better pictures"
-------------------------

7. (C) During a subsequent meeting on February 17 with Riina
Kionka, High Representative Javier Solana's Personal
Representative for Human Rights, Ambassador Williamson
briefed on the process called for by the President's recent
executive orders on closure of Guantanamo detention
facilities, and exchanged views on the state of play
regarding EU-level efforts on acceptance of Guantanamo
detainees.

8. (C) While emphasizing that EU Counter-Terrorism
Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove had the lead on this issue,
Kionka raised a few specific concerns and ideas. She told us
that Member States have been under intense pressure from
China not to accept Uighurs, and that some are concerned
about possible repercussions in bilateral and EU-level
relations with China if they accept detainees. She
acknowledged that this pressure was not unusual from China,
but did not know if it would affect Member State
decision-making.

9. (C) Kionka also highlighted the gap between public
perceptions of the kinds of detaines at Guantanamo and the
reality that many ar very low risk. She felt that this was
a message the U.S. had to carry, and urged the
administration to "plainly" explain to Americans (and thus
Europeans) that while some detainees are very dangerous, many
of them do not pose a serious threat. Kionka also commented
that whenever a European newspaper ran a story on
Guantanamo, they ran the typical picture of a hunched-over
detainee in an orange jumpsuit. She said that "we need
better pictures" and urged us to turn the story around by
showing low-risk detainees in a better light.

---------------------
Parliamentary support
---------------------

10. (C) Amb. Williamson hosted a lunch for three Members of
the European Parliament (MEP) who were the principal authors
of a recent resolution supporting U.S. efforts to close
Guantanamo and EU efforts to assist with detainee
resettlement. MEPs Ursula Gacek (EPP-ED, Poland), Baroness
Sarah Ludford (ALDE, UK), and Jan Marinus Wiersma (PSE,
Netherlands) told us that the results of the vote (542 in
favor, 55 abstaining, 51 opposed) show the broad bipartisan
support that the EP has for European resettlement efforts.
They said that it was difficult to craft a text that all
parties could support, but that the EP felt it was important
to express a "helpful" sentiment. Williamson expressed
appreciation for their efforts in securing passage of the
resolution and indicated that it sent a positive message to
EU states considering resettlements.

11. (C) The MEPs were careful to point out that the support
was not unqualified. Legal issues surrounding the admission
of detainees into the Schengen Zone needed to be resolved to
the satisfaction of Member States not accepting detainees,
they said. MEP Ludford, known to be somewhat outspoken, drew
criticism from her colleagues when she spoke of her personal
opinion that Member States who participated in alleged CIA

BRUSSELS 00000269 003 OF 003


rendition operations to Guantanamo had a particular ethical
responsibility to accept detainees if it would contribute to
the closure of the facility. She noted that the EP would
adopt a resolution on CIA flights at that week's plenary
session.

12. (U) Ambassador Williamson has cleared on this telegram.

MURRAY
.