C O N F I D E N T I A L DOHA 000527
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/27/2018
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KAWC QA
SUBJECT: FORMER GUANTANAMO DETAINEE IN QATARI CUSTODY
REF: DOHA 417
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Michael A. Ratney,
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (C) Former GTMO detainee Jarallah al-Marri was transferred
to Qatari custody on Sunday, July 27 at 1230 hrs local time.
Legatt met the USAF aircraft on arrival at Doha International
Airport and witnessed al-Marri's transfer to officials of
Qatar State Security. Qatari authorities brought al-Marri
through the main airport terminal and led him to a car
curbside in front of the arrivals terminal. A Qatari video
cameraman filmed the arrival. The entire process went
smoothly. With his release, no Qataris are currently being
held at GTMO. His brother Ali, however, remains in detention
at the Charleston, South Carolina, Naval Brig.
Â¶2. (C) Embassy received several inquiries on July 27 from the
Qatar Human Rights Commission, following up on requests from
al-Marri's family for verification that al-Marri had arrived
in Qatar. The Human Rights Commission was referred to the
Â¶3. (U) All but one of Qatar,s seven local newspapers carried
short, factual articles on al-Marri,s return. Three
Arabic-language dailies featured front-page coverage, while
the fourth Arabic daily ran the story on its inside pages.
English-language daily "Gulf-Times" ran virtually the same
text as the Arabic newspapers, including that "no condemning
evidence was produced against" al-Marri &nor was he sent to
any trial." "Gulf Times" also quoted al-Marri's family
members citing their relief at his release, and their desire
to see his brother, Ali al-Marri, released from U.S.
Â¶4. (U) Al Jazeera Network's Arabic news channel ran a short
story with a video clip of al-Marri at Doha International
Airport at the top of its afternoon news bulletin on July 27.
The text of the bulletin was virtually identical to that ran
in the Qatari Arabic-language dailies: al-Marri was held in
Guantanamo since his arrest upon leaving Afghanistan in late
2001, no evidence was entered against him, and he has not
stood trial. On July 28, Al Jazeera continued to mention
al-Marri's return in its news crawl.