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WikiLeaks: 2007-08-31: 07BAGHDAD2922: DCM'S August 28 Meeting with Human Rights Minister

by WikiLeaks. 07BAGHDAD2922: August 31, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 06:11 PM UT


Viewing cable 07BAGHDAD2922, DCM'S AUGUST 28 MEETING WITH HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD2922 2007-08-31 12:38 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO5602
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2922/01 2431238
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 311238Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3119
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC//NSC// PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002922 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/30/2017 
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KIRF KJUS IZ
SUBJECT: DCM'S AUGUST 28 MEETING WITH HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER 
 
REF: A. BAGHDAD 2665 
     B. BAGHDAD 1434 
 
Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION PATRICIA A. BUTENIS FOR REASONS 
1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: Human Rights Minister Wijdan Salim told 
the DCM on August 28 that she will remain in the Maliki 
government as an independent, despite Iraqiyya bloc leader 
Ayad Allawi's reported plan to return to Baghdad.  The 
Minister noted she has not yet received a pre-publication 
copy of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq's 
(UNAMI) second quarter 2007 human rights report for review, 
as agreed.  She also discussed with the DCM her efforts to 
raise awareness on the security threat against minorities in 
Baghdad, her work on detainee issues in support of the late 
August Leaders Conference, and her possible plans to relocate 
her family to the US for their safety. END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER ON ALLAWI AND QUITTING IRAQIYYA 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
2. (S) Minister Wijdan confirmed to the DCM on August 28 that 
she resigned from Iraqiyya in order to continue working in 
the Maliki government (ref A).  She said she will remain in 
the government as an independent.  Minister Wijdan also noted 
that Iraqiyya party leader Ayad Allawi will be returning to 
Baghdad and will stop in Suleimaniyah en route.  Minister 
Wijdan told the DCM that she and Allawi have not communicated 
directly since her resignation from Iraqiyya, which he has 
not yet acknowledged; however, his return to Iraq would not 
impact her decision to leave the party -- which was 
difficult.  Without providing further details, she said that 
Allawi reportedly agreed on August 28 to collaborate with 
National Dialogue Front leader Saleh Mutlaq.  The Minister 
expressed her view that while for now Allawi is the best 
possible leader for Iraq, he does not stand a chance of being 
elected, because the religious parties would not support him. 
 
 
------------------------- 
UNAMI HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT 
------------------------- 
 
3. (C) Minister Wijdan complained that UNAMI still has not 
provided her a copy of the second quarter human rights report 
draft.  She told the DCM that she understood that there was 
an agreement that UNAMI would provide the GOI seven days to 
review and comment on the draft before it is published.  The 
Minister noted that her ministry has continued to cooperate 
with UNAMI, although the GOI was displeased that UNAMI did 
not consult adequately with the GOI in advance on the first 
quarter 2007 report, before making it public (ref B). 
 
------------------------------------------ 
DETAINEE ISSUES AND THE LEADERS CONFERENCE 
------------------------------------------ 
 
4. (S) Commenting on two detainee working group meetings she 
attended that were chaired by Deputy Prime Minister (PM) 
Barham Saleh during the late August Leaders Conference, the 
Minister said the identification of the need to account for 
the over 20,000 detainees in GOI custody through centralized 
record-keeping at the Interior Ministry was the best 
accomplishment of the meetings.  She expressed concerns that 
some issues were not discussed more extensively, including 
detainees' access to an attorney from the first stages of 
their investigations. (Note:  Deputy PM Saleh convened the 
meetings to discuss practical steps to resolve detention 
problems, based on principles suggested by the Leaders 
Conference participants.  In addition to Minister Wijdan, the 
detainee working group participants included National 
Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Chief Justice Medhat 
al-Mahmoud, Minister of State for National Security Sherwan 
al-Waili, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mahmoud 
al-Radi, Baghdad Operations Center Commander Lieutenant 
General (LTG) Aboud Qanbar, Head Public Prosecutor Judge 
Ghdanfer Hmoud Aljasim, and deputy-ministerial-level 
representation from the Interior, Justice, and Defense 
ministries. End note.) 
 
-------------------------- 
THREATS AGAINST MINORITIES 
-------------------------- 
 
 
BAGHDAD 00002922  002 OF 002 
 
 
5. (S) Minister Wijdan (a Chaldean Christian) stated that 
threats against religious and ethnic minorities were a 
"security issue" that has been discussed during Baghdad 
Security Plan meetings.  She reported that she had asked LTG 
Aboud to protect Christian areas in the Mansour district; 
however, LTG Aboud said he could not do it.  (Note: In order 
to maintain the appearance of neutrality, MNF-I and Iraqi 
Security Forces operations are focused on improving security 
in general and do not single out particular religious or 
ethnic groups to protect.  End note.) She said that the Dora 
district of Baghdad, where some of her family members used to 
live, had been emptied of Christians.  Minister Wijdan also 
commented that many Christians in Baghdad have left for 
Kurdistan.  She noted that DPM Saleh has engaged with 
Christian leaders on threats against the Christian community. 
 
 
------------------------------- 
FUTURE OPTIONS FOR THE MINISTER 
------------------------------- 
 
6. (S/NF) The Minister told the DCM she is interested in the 
Embassy's offer to relocate the Minister and her family to 
the US under the Department of Homeland Security's 
Significant Public Benefit Parole (SPBP) program.  The 
Minister said her family is reluctant to leave her alone in 
Iraq, and prefers to stay in Iraq if at all possible; 
however, they would proceed with SPBP should her family face 
an imminent threat.  Minister Wijdan said that her 
brother-in-law and his family fled from their home in the 
Karada district of Baghdad and have been staying with her at 
her home in the International Zone after they received 
threats.  She added that she knows of dangers that her family 
does not know. 
CROCKER

 



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