Viewing cable 06RIYADH4919
Title: REMAINS RETURNED, FAMILIES OF GTMO DETAINEES CALL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06RIYADH49192006-06-19 14:34:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Riyadh
VZCZCXRO3513
PP RUEHBC RUEHDBU RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHRH #4919/01 1701434
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191434Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY RIYADH
TO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8778
INFO RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA PRIORITY 1422
RUEHJI/AMCONSUL JEDDAH PRIORITY 7342
RUEHRH/CHUSMTM RIYADH SA PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEORYQ/OPM-SANG RIYADH SA PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 RIYADH 004919 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2016 
TAGS: KISL KPAO PGOV PREL MOPS PTER KAWC SA XF
SUBJECT: REMAINS RETURNED, FAMILIES OF GTMO DETAINEES CALL 
FOR INVESTIGATION OF DEATHS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 94613 
 
Classified By: James C. Oberwetter for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (U) Following the deaths of the three GTMO detainees, 
Abdulaziz Suleiman al-Rubaish, whose brother is currently 
detained at GTMO, contacted the Embassy and asked to meet 
with the Ambassador.  PolMilOff met al-Rubaish at the Embassy 
front gate and accepted a letter addressed to President Bush 
from relatives of Saudi detainees.  The letter holds the USG 
responsible for the deaths, and calls for an international 
investigation and the immediate release of the remaining 
detainees.  Post's translation of the letter and Ambassador 
Oberwetter's letter in response are copied below. 
 
¶2. (U) Al-Jazirah, a Riyadh newspaper, published the contents 
of the al-Rubaish letter on June 18.  The English language 
Arab News reported on June 19 that the father of one of the 
deceased, Yasser al-Zahrani, is convinced that U.S. 
authorities strangled his son, and the results of the ongoing 
Saudi autopsy would not change his mind. 
 
¶3. (C)  EmbOffs observed the repatriation of the remains of 
the two deceased Saudi detainees at the Riyadh airport 
shortly after midnight on June 17.  Officials from the 
Ministry of Interior (MOI) visually confirmed the identities 
of the deceased.  The Saudi consular official who accompanied 
the bodies from GTMO said that he was pleased with the entire 
repatriation process. 
 
(Begin Text of Saudi Letter) 
 
Date:  17.5.1427 H (Corresponding June 13, 2006) 
To: His Excellency George W. Bush, President of the United 
States 
 
Dear Mr. President: 
 
With great sorrow and sadness, we received the news of the 
death of two Saudi Guantanamo prisoners - Yasser Talal 
al-Zahrani and Manie Shaman al-Otaibi - and the Yemeni 
prisoner - Ahmed Abdullah.  They died under detention, a 
detention that continued without any legal grounds contrary 
to all international rules and regulations. 
 
While we are very skeptical about the camp administration's 
story that the prisoners committed suicide, which they know - 
as true believers - is forbidden in Islam, (Begin underlined 
text) we hold the U.S. administration responsible for the 
deaths.  We also condemn all methods of investigation 
practiced against the detainees (End underlined text) in 
Guantanamo, which may have led them to adopt desperate means 
to draw attention to their case and highlight the injustices 
committed against them in order to be released quickly. 
 
We, the relatives of Saudis detained in Guantanamo, (Begin 
underlined text) call for the formation of an international 
investigation committee to find out the reasons behind their 
death (End underlined text) or alleged suicide, as well as 
expose violations practiced against our sons in the detention 
camp. 
 
(Begin underlined text) We also call for an immediate and 
unconditional release of our sons under detention (End 
underlined text) in this ill-famed camp.  We hold you 
responsible in front of God and the entire world for delaying 
their release and the resultant effects on their own physical 
and psychological conditions as well as those of their 
relatives.  The condition of these detainees is deteriorating 
everyday due to the inhumane treatment.  They were denied any 
chance of fair trial and left in isolation from the outside 
world without enjoying any of their human rights. 
 
It's a shame for the government and the people of the United 
States - who relentlessly promulgated the human rights 
culture and endeavored to implement it worldwide - to keep 
this detention camp of Guantanamo as witness for the horrible 
human rights violations committed, while committees and 
organizations arrange meetings for defending and protecting 
 
RIYADH 00004919  002 OF 002 
 
 
animals!! 
 
(Begin underlined text) We call upon all those who have 
compassionate hearts to extend every effort - by the legal 
means - to accelerate the release of these victims of 
injustice (End underlined text) who spent nearly five years 
in this ill-famed detention camp that is well-known to 
everyone on earth. 
 
(Signed) 
 
Relatives of Saudi Citizens Detained at Guantanamo 
 
Mohammed Saad bin-Awshan (cell phone 055-523-0491) 
Abdulaziz Suleiman al-Rubaish (cell phone 050-514-0729) 
 
(End Text of Saudi Letter) 
 
(Begin Text of Ambassador's Letter) 
 
June 20, 2006 
 
Dear Mr. Awhan and Mr. al-Rubaish: 
 
I have received your June 13 letter on behalf of the families 
of Saudi citizens detained at Guantanamo.  I have forwarded 
your letter to appropriate officials at the Department of 
Defense and the White House.  I know that those families with 
relatives detained at Guantanamo are going through a very 
difficult time, especially in the wake of the recent deaths 
of three detainees. 
 
The United States government has serious concerns anytime 
anybody takes their own life, and the deaths are being fully 
investigated by the Department of Defense.  The bodies of the 
deceased have been returned to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and 
consular officials from the Saudi Arabian and Yemeni 
embassies in Washington, D.C. escorted the bodies back to 
their home countries.  A Muslim officer oversaw the process 
and the bodies were treated with great sensitivity and in 
strict adherence to Islamic requirements. 
 
The United States government has already transferred a number 
of detainees to their home countries, including Saudi Arabia, 
and others will be returning to the Kingdom shortly.  A 
formal judicial process is ongoing at Guantanamo and the U.S. 
federal courts are involved in the process to review the 
cases of the remaining detainees.  The U.S. Supreme Court has 
a case before it that will influence how and at what pace 
that process moves forward. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
James C. Oberwetter 
Ambassador 
 
(End Text of Ambassador's Letter) 
OBERWETTER