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WikiLeaks: 2008-10-26: 08JEDDAH448: TAIF Christians Deportations May Be Imminent

by WikiLeaks. 08JEDDAH448: October 26, 2008.

Posted: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM UT


Viewing cable 08JEDDAH448, TAIF CHRISTIANS DEPORTATIONS MAY BE IMMINENT

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08JEDDAH448 2008-10-26 13:59 SECRET Consulate Jeddah
VZCZCXRO5089
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHROV
DE RUEHJI #0448/01 3001359
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 261359Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL JEDDAH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0969
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 0191
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 8088
RUCNDTA/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0055
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 JEDDAH 000448 
 
SIPDIS 
 
RIYADH, PLEASE PASS TO DHAHRAN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/25/2018 
TAGS: ELAB KIRF KISL KTIP PHUM SA SMIG SOCI XF
SUBJECT: TAIF CHRISTIANS DEPORTATIONS MAY BE IMMINENT 
 
REF: A. JEDDAH 00186 
     B. RIYADH 01211 
     C. RIYADH 01218 
     D. NEW YORK 00966 
 
Classified By: ACTING CONSUL GENERAL CB TONEY FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND ( 
D). 
 
1. (S) SUMMARY: An advocate for the Christian Indians 
arrested in April for holding a prayer service in Taif 
reveals to Poloff that deportation orders of these 
individuals are imminent. This is despite the fact that 
Assistant Minister of the Interior, Mohammed Bin Naif assured 
that this issue had been resolved and that no deportations 
will take place. END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (S) DEPORTATION ORDER STILL ON:  PolOff met with Abraham 
on October 24 to discuss the potential deportations of 
Christian pilgrims in the Taif area. Abraham is a 
Jeddah-based Indian Christian who is helping the Taif 
Christians on a voluntary basis. He has previously taken part 
in the worship services in Taif that were the subject of the 
raid by Saudi police in April. (REFTELS) 
 
3. (S) 13 TAIF CHRISTIANS: The current group of potential 
deportees includes 13 individuals. There were 15 potential 
deportees according to Abraham's list of those threatened 
with deportation after the April worship service. Two of the 
original individuals, Majnu Iype and Ginsen Syriac have left 
the country. According to Abraham, Syriac was actually 
already deported on an order to his sponsoring company. This 
took place before the deportation issue had been supposedly 
resolved in August. All of the individuals live in Taif, 
except for Chengamanadu Geevarghese who works in Riyadh and 
travels to Taif occasionally; he was one of the original 
individuals arrested in Taif. 
 
4. (S) STILL SLATED FOR EXIT: Abraham believes that all of 
the remaining 13 individuals are still likely to get 
deportation orders through their companies in the immediate 
future. Abraham claims that some of the sponsoring companies 
may take the side of the employees and refuse to fulfill the 
deportation. He mentioned a British company that is not 
likely to cooperate with the government. 
 
5. (S) The gatherings that took place in April have ceased 
completely at the recommendation of Abraham. The place of 
prayer, an apartment that had been occupied by two of the 
individuals, Jose Varughese and Lizy B. David, has been 
chained shut by local police. As a result the couple was 
forced to move into a new home. 
 
6. (S) ORDERS FROM GOVERNORATE: Abraham notes that all 
deportation orders are being handed down directly from the 
Mecca GovernateGovernorate to sponsoring companies, who are 
then asked to hand over the passport with an exit visa. The 
employee is not contacted directly by the 
GovernateGovernorate. 
 
7. (S) EXITS BLOCKED: In recent weeks, Abraham has received 
word that the passport office will be blocking the 
individuals in question from leaving the country. In response 
to a question as to why there is an attempt to block people 
from leaving the country who are already facing deportation, 
Abraham replied that these individuals might still be 
prosecuted and jailed for the original crime of holding the 
prayer service. Abraham claimed that the entire group is 
legitimately afraid not only of deportation, but also of 
potential prosecution. 
 
8. (S) NO HELP FROM INDIAN CONSULATE: Abraham did contact the 
Indian Consulate in Jeddah at one point, but they were only 
issued a letter saying that the case would be looked at. 
Abraham does not see the Indian consulate as a potential 
source of support in sensitive cases like this one. There is 
no evidence that the Indian consulate or embassy has done 
anything to help resolve this case. 
 
9. (S) COMMUNICATION LINKS:  The communication chain for 
information on this case is as follows: Abraham has been the 
main supplier of information on this case to Embassy Riyadh 
and Consulate Jeddah. He is in regular contact with only one 
of the thirteen individuals, Mr. Reji Johnson 
Nayattu-Kalayil. Nayattu-Kalayil is directly in touch with 
the other twelve. The information that the deportees are 
 
JEDDAH 00000448  002 OF 002 
 
 
receiving is from the person Abraham refers to as the 
guarantor, usually a representative from the sponsoring 
company. The guarantors receive their information from the 
Mecca GovernateGovernorate. One person that Abraham cites as 
being particularly important in gathering information is a 
Saudi guarantor that bailed our Alexander Mathew, 
Chengamanadu Geevarghese, and Tony Parampathor Thomas. The 
guarantor is a Saudi, not related to any company the men are 
working for, and posted bail out of generosity. He apparently 
has excellent sources of information within the government. 
This individual has in recent weeks been one of the main 
individuals to note that the problem of deportation is 
persisting. 
 
10. (S) COMMENT. It is very hard to verify that the 
information being received on this case is completely 
accurate. The chain of communication does not allow for 
corroboration since it is all filtered through a few 
individuals. The connection between the guarantors - 
particularly the unattached benevolent Saudi - and the 
government is unclear and therefore makes it hard to verify 
the information. It would be very useful to learn more about 
Syriac, the individual that according to Abraham has already 
been deported. This can be used as evidence - if confirmed - 
that the deportations are a real possibility. 
 
11. (S) While Mohammad Bin Naif has noted that only the 
Ministry of the Interior can issue a deportation (Reftel), 
the local GovernateGovernorate seems to not be getting this 
message. An order in writing would be necessary to ensure 
effective communication between the Ministry of Interior and 
local government officials. 
 
12. (S) The Saudis have invited the Indian Prime Minister to 
the upcoming UNGA debate on King Abdullah's interfaith 
dialogue initiative in New York. (REFTEL D) This could prompt 
the SAG to solve the problem to avoid bad press that would 
distract attention from the meeting. END COMMENT. 
TONEY

 



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