Author Topic: WikiLeaks cable: Guantamo suicides spur new cries... for David Hick's release  (Read 1585 times)

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enrica

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"Psichological" torture took place in Guantanamo, according to this cable, and suicides happen in the same facility "for protest" - This is just what is reported here about the notorious David Hick's case - Let's just imagine how is the whole situation...  :(

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MELBOURNE 000244
 
SIPDIS
 
SENSITIVE
 
SIPDIS
 
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PROP PTER PREL PINS AS
SUBJECT: GUANTANAMO SUICIDES SPUR NEW CRIES IN AUSTRALIA
FOR DAVID HICKS' RELEASE

 
REF: CANBERRA 599
 
MELBOURNE 00000244  001.2 OF 002
 
 
SUMMARY
-------
 
¶1.  (SBU) Three detainee suicides at the Guantanamo Bay
Detention facility on June 10 unsurprisingly have brought
renewed calls for the release of Australian detainee David
Hicks.  An Australian Parliamentary motion calling for the
closure of Guantanamo and the return of Hicks to Australia
narrowly failed in the Senate on June 14.  The Charge
responded to a separate inquiry from a Member of Parliament
on allegations by University of Wisconsin Professor Alfred
McCoy that psychological torture of Hicks at Guantanamo had
left Hicks in a severely damaged mental state.
  Despite
growing public sentiment against the facility, Australian PM
Howard and his Cabinet are steadfast in their support for USG
policy and their belief that Hicks has been, and will
continue to be, treated fairly as his case is processed at
Guantanamo.  End summary.
 
¶2. (SBU) In the wake of three detainees committing suicide at
Guantanamo Bay on June 10
, Australian civil rights groups,
members of the media, criminal defense lawyers and opposition
Labor Party politicians, as well as the Green Party Senate
leader, have again called variously for the U.S. to
immediately release Australian detainee David Hicks; for
Guantanamo Bay to be closed as a detention facility; and/or
for the Australian Government to do more to secure Hicks'
release.
 
¶3. (SBU) Hicks' Adelaide-based Australian lawyer, David
McLeod, told "The Sydney Morning Herald"  newspaper on June
12 that the news of the "successful suicides would go around
the camp like wildfire and no doubt cause (Hicks) and other
detainees to reflect on their own positions."  "David Hicks
has stopped eating and is shedding weight at an alarming
rate," reported one breathless news account.  According to
Hicks' American military attorney, Hicks had stopped eating,
not because he is on a hunger strike, but because he has
"just lost the desire to eat.  He's not coping," U.S. Marine
Corps Major Michael Mori affirmed.  On Australian ABC radio,
Mori complained: "I found him very desperate for human
contact.  He'd lost a lot of weight."  Hicks' father, Terry
Hicks, told Channel Seven News that he was not surprised that
the detainees had committed suicide given their conditions
and treatment.
 
¶4. (SBU) On June 14, Greens Party leader, Senator Bob Brown,
was joined by Labor and Australian Democratic MPs in a motion
calling on the U.S. Government to close Guantanamo Bay and to
ensure a fair trial for Hicks.  After the motion failed 34 to
28, Brown issued a media release alleging that Guantanamo Bay
is "anathema to the rule of law" and "should be closed
immediately," adding that, "No other government in the world
has abandoned its citizens to this illegal system."  "John
Howard alone remains subservient to the Bush Administration
in this matter," he concluded.
 
¶5. (SBU) On June 14, Australian Member of Parliament Michael
Danby, who is strongly pro-Alliance, asked the Charge to
comment on allegations by University of Wisconsin professor
and author Alfred McCoy that David Hicks' was being held in
extreme isolation, subjected to systematic psychological
torture, and that Hicks' lawyer Joshua Dratel had found Hicks
in a "severely damaged and stressed psychological state."  In
a written response drawing on Washington guidance, the Charge
rebutted the thrust of McCoy's statements, which were
contained in the "Monthly" magazine and elaborated during a
June 13 Lateline interview with McCoy.  The Charge cited USG
denials that Hicks is kept in solitary confinement, and noted
that Hicks has daily access to a reading room, exercise area,
and hot showers, and can meet privately with his lawyers and
representatives of the International Committee of the Red
Cross.
 
¶6. (SBU) Asked about the Hicks case after the suicides, PM
Howard stated on June 12 that a recent consular visit to
Guantanamo Bay by Australian officials raised no concerns for
 
MELBOURNE 00000244  002.2 OF 002
 
 
Hicks.  "I've been told that he received a consular visit
about two weeks ago and the report from that consular visit
was positive," the PM said.  FM Alexander Downer also
publicly stated that he was satisfied that Hicks was not a
suicide risk and that his only health complaint was a bad
back which Hicks raised with consular officials when he met
them on June 8.  "He complained about some back ailment that
he's had for a long time," Downer told ABC radio and added,
"but he didn't seem particularly depressed according to the
reports I've read."  After commenting that Hicks was not held
in solitary confinement, was able to read, exercise, and
could mix "with other detainees from time to time," Downer
concluded: "I'm satisfied that his health and welfare are
fine."  Attorney General Phillip Ruddock told reporters that
the Australian government has spent in excess of AUD250,000
(approx. USD186,000) representing Hicks and said that
officials have visited him at Guantanamo Bay on at least 14
occasions.
 
COMMENT
-------
 
¶7. (SBU) Media attention to the Hicks case follows a wave
pattern over time.  We are currently observing a peak.  The
suicides of the three Guantanamo detainees provided an
opportunity to Hicks' defense team, which has generated
public antipathy to his continued detention with the
assistance of sympathetic media.  John Howard and his
Government have taken pains to defend our actions
consistently, even if it costs them short term political
points.  End Comment.
 
¶8. (U) This message has been coordinated with Embassy
Canberra.
 
IRVING

Full Original cable: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/06/06MELBOURNE244.html