08ASTANA2262, KAZAKHSTAN: LOCAL MEDIA FINALLY REPORT RETURN OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2262 2008-11-17 10:29 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2668
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2262/01 3221029
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171029Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3845
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0813
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0212
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0922
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0114
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0915
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0377
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0294
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2047
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2380

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002262 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, S/WCI, DRL, SCA/PPD 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PTER PINR PHUM KDRG KAWC KPAO KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  LOCAL MEDIA FINALLY REPORT RETURN OF 
GTMO DETAINEE DOLKUN KERIMBAKIYEV, INTERVIEW SISTER 
 
REF: ASTANA 2159 
 
ASTANA 00002262  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Kazakhstani media did not report the 
return to Kazakhstan of Guantanamo detainee Dolkun 
Kerimbakiyev until one week after his arrival.  The 
government made no announcement about the return.  Several 
media outlets subsequently interviewed his sister, who 
claimed that Kerimbakiyev is a changed person, with weakened 
health and a damaged psyche.  Kerimbakiyev's family permitted 
a journalist from the Kazakh-language service of Radio Free 
Europe/Radio Liberty to see Kerimbakiyev, but he was 
reportedly talking to himself and did not respond to any 
questions.  END SUMMARY. 
 
MEDIA SLOW TO REPORT KERIMBAKIYEV'S RETURN 
 
3. (SBU) The Kazakhstani media were slow to report the 
October 31 return to Kazakhstan of Guantanamo detainee Dolkun 
Kerimbakiyev (partial ISN 521, also known as Abdul Rahim). 
The Kazakhstani government issued no statement about the 
event, and no Kazakhstani media outlets reported on the 
Department of Defense's October 31 press release announcing 
the return of an unnamed Kazakhstani citizen (who was easily 
identifiable as Kerimbakiyev, since he was the sole remaining 
Kazakhstani at Guantanamo).  Local journalists apparently 
became aware of the return only on November 6, when the 
Kazakh-language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 
(RFE/RL) reported the story based on an Agence France Press 
report that conveyed DoD's announcement.  Responding to a 
journalist's question at a press conference in Almaty later 
on November 6, the Ambassador confirmed that there were no 
remaining Kazakhstanis at Guantanamo. 
 
4. (U) During November 7-11, three Kazakhstani newspapers 
considered to be pro-opposition or independent -- 
"Respublika," Vremya," and "Megapolis" -- published articles 
in their print or on-line editions on Kerimbakiyev's return 
which included interviews with his sister, Elmira 
Kerimbakiyeva.  The Kazakh-language service of RFE/RL also 
spoke with her.  (NOTE:  State-owned Kazakhstan TV reported 
Kerimbakiyev's return during the November 10 broadcast of the 
Kazakh-language "Ayna Aqparat" news show.  END NOTE.) 
 
SISTER CLAIMS HE IS A "CHANGED PERSON" 
 
5. (SBU) Elmira Kerimbakiyeva was interviewed at her family 
residence in the village of Kyzyl Sharyk, which is located in 
Almaty oblast, about 120 kilometers from the city of Almaty. 
She confirmed her brother had returned home to the village. 
(NOTE:  Per reftel, we had been told by MFA officials that 
Kermibakiyev would be returning to the city of Almaty.  END 
NOTE.)  The various articles reported that she made the 
following statements: 
 
-- Dolkun Kerimbakiyev has not yet recovered from his 
confinement.  He is a changed person, is afraid of people, 
and has been crying frequently at night.  His health was 
weakened by his imprisonment, and his psyche is not fully in 
order. 
 
-- Kerimbakiyev has said very little about Guantanamo.  He 
claims he virtually did not see the sun for seven years, 
because detainees were taken on walks for just two hours a 
day in the morning, while the prison walls were so high that 
the sun did not rise above them at that time of day.  He 
further claims he was not permitted to talk with other 
detainees during these walks.  Kerimbakiyev has not said 
anything about being subjected to "torture," but does 
maintain that bright lights were turned on in his cell 24 
hours per day. 
 
 
ASTANA 00002262  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
-- Kerimbakiyev's uncle went to Astana to meet him on his 
arrival on October 31.  (NOTE:  Per reftel, we had originally 
understood that this relative was a brother.  END NOTE.) 
Because Kerimbakiyev was not issued any documents by the MFA 
upon arrival, it took him three days to make it home from 
Astana. 
 
-- Kerimbakiyev's uncle and aunt will help him find work, but 
only later, after he has recovered sufficiently. 
 
-- Kerimbakiyev's mother went to Pakistan together with his 
younger brother to look for him seven years ago when he 
disappeared.  She never came back.   (NOTE:  In a July 11, 
2007, interview with "Vremya,"
 Kerimbakiyev's aunt, Nurkhan 
Sabirova, maintained that Kerimbakiyev's father died shortly 
after his birth and that his mother abandoned her children 
and disappeared not long afterwards, as a result of which she 
raised Kerimbakiyev.  END NOTE.) 
 
6. (U)  Kerimbakiyev's family permitted a journalist from 
RFE/RL to enter Kerimbakiyev's room.  The journalist reported 
that Kerimbakiyev was talking to himself, but could not be 
understood.  The reporter tried to speak with Kerimbakiyev, 
but he reportedly did not respond. 
HOAGLAND

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