UNCLAS MUSCAT 000235
STATE FOR NEA/ARPI, NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), DS/IP/ITA
STATE ALSO FOR DS/IP/NEA, DS/DSS/OSAC, AND DS/DSS/CC
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM ASEC KPAO IZ MU
SUBJECT: REACTIONS TO UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR'S REPORT,
REF: A. SECSTATE 22932
Â¶B. SECSTATE 24924
Â¶C. SECSTATE 26147
Â¶1. (SBU) In a February 18 call on MFA Chief of International
Organizations Ambassador Talib bin Miran al-Raisi, P/E Chief
took the opportunity to register USG objections to the UN
Special Rapporteur's Report on detainee conditions in
Guantanamo Bay (ref A), as well as to use talking points
(refs B, C) emphasizing the USG's condemnation of all
instances of abuse against detainees, as recently depicted in
photos in the international and Omani press. Ambassador
al-Raisi was familiar with the UN Rapporteur's report and the
fact that the UN team turned down USG requests to visit
detention facilities in person before publishing its report.
He was pleased to note the USG's denunciation of torture and
mistreatment, taking note of the punishments meted out thus
far to guilty parties.
Â¶2. (SBU) Oman's print media gave prominent attention to the
latest detainee abuse photos in February 16 and 17 editions.
The government-owned Arabic language daily "Oman" was the
only one of Oman's two Arabic and three English daily
newspapers not to publish the story or photos on the front
page on February 16, while February 17 editions of several
newspapers gave front-page attention to the Iraqi
government's reactions. The February 16 headline in the
privately owned Arabic daily "Al Watan" was "Freedom plus
Democracy equals Sadism." Outrage over the photos was also
the leading topic in the local Internet message board
"al-Sablah." Labeled as "new photos of American freedom,"
the topic was viewed over 2,000 times and generated three
dozen responses. There have been no demonstrations, however,
or other public manifestations of protest. Reactions may
have been muted somewhat by the fact that most media coverage
took place over the local weekend.