Documents Released Under the "Diplomatic Assurances" FOIA

November 18, 2008

Notable Excerpts:

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Telegram from: American Embassy in New Delhi to Sec. of State in D.C. (February 9, 2006):
Ambassadorial Assessment of Barapind Extradition Assurances from the Government of India
(p.82-4)

Declaration of Samuel Witten, Assistant Legal Advisor for Law Enforcement and Intelligence in the Office of the Legal Advisor at Dept. of State
In the matter of Cornejo-Barreto v. W. H. Seifert. U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division (October 2001). This document provides an overview of extradition and the process of obtaining and evaluating diplomatic assurances.
(114-23)

Memo from John Bellinger, Action Memo for Deputy Secretary of Dept of State, Re: whether to extradite Barapind to India):
Concludes that it is not more likely than not that Barapind will be tortured if extradited. Also provides background and legal obligations. Memo states, "There is no doubt that torture generally remains a problem for Indian law enforcement" (next part redacted).
(184-201)

Telegram from Embassy New Delhi To Sec of State, DC (March 30, 2006):
Follow-up on Barapind extradition assurances. Full text of the Indian government response to questions as well as the name of a contact person is included. Also information on the improvement of Indian treatment of Sikhs since 1997.

a. "We note that the GOI response does not explicitly mention coordination with Punjab authorities to ensure Barapind's humane treatment, except to reiterate in the first two paragraphs that Indian law provides for his humane treatment and that persons violating this law are subject to prosecution and imprisonment."
b. "The Indian response also did not specifically answer whether Barapind would be held in judicial remand upon his return to India, whether his trial would be held in Punjab, whether he would be held in Punjab prior to an during his trial, or where he would be incarcerated if convicted."

(224-228)

Telegram from Embassy New Delhi To Sec of State, DC (April 28, 2006):
Follow-up on Barapind Extradition Assurances: GOI response to questions regarding the Sandhus. GOI stated that "The Police did not torture them during this period either physically or mentally. The accused willingly volunteered information relating to crime, which led to recovery of important clues to these crimes. Rajasthan Police ensured that the interrogation of suspects and criminals related to the case took place upholding human rights."
(229-230)

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