Iraq/USA: No double standards for POWs
25 - Amnesty International called today on all sides of the conflict
to treat prisoners of war (POWs) in full conformity with the Third
be treated humanely and not be subjected to any form of torture
or ill-treatment and should be given immediate access to the International
Committee of the Red Cross," Amnesty International said.
that the governments of Iraq, US and the UK respect the laws of
war and to treat all detainees in conformity with the Geneva Convention,"
the organization emphasized.
On 23 March,
following the exposure of the US soldiers -- captured by Iraqi
forces during the US-led attack on Iraq -- on Iraqi television
being interrogated, President George Bush as well as prime minister
Tony Blair accused Iraq of breaching the Geneva Convention by
showing the captured on TV and demanded fair treatment for the
POWs. The same principle applies to Iraqi prisoners of war. Iraqi
officials stated that they will respect the Geneva Convention.
On the same
day, however, about 30 more detainees were flown from Afghanistan
to the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. This brought to
about 660 the number of foreign nationals from approximately 40
countries held in the base.
requests, we are still denied access to Bagram and Guantánamo
Bay prisons and once again we call upon US government to address
Amnesty International's concerns about the detainees", the organization
" In addition,
we call for a full, impartial inquiry into allegations of torture
and ill-treatment by US personnel against alleged al-Qa'ida and
Taleban detainees held in US Air Base in Bagram, Afghanistan".
also called on all media to ensure in its use of images that the
dignity of all prisoners of war, whether Iraqi or US or other,
to the Third Geneva Convention, prisoners of war "are entitled
in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour"
(Article 14) and "must at all times be protected, particularly
against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and
public curiosity" (Article 13). Torture or inhuman treatment of
prisoners of war is a grave breach of the Convention (Article
130). Each party to the Convention has an obligation to search
for those suspected of having committed such breaches and bring
them to justice before its own courts or hand them over for trial
to another party (Article 129).
first of the detainees arrived in Guantánamo in January 2002,
the Pentagon released a photograph of the detainees in orange
jumpsuits, kneeling before US soldiers, shackled, handcuffed,
and wearing blacked-out goggles over their eyes and masks over
their mouths and noses. The photograph shocked world opinion and
led Secretary Rumsfeld to acknowledge that it was "probably unfortunate"
that the picture had been released, at least without better captioning.
He added: "My recollection is that there's something in the Geneva
Conventions about press people being around prisoners; that --
and not taking pictures and not saying who they are and not exposing
them to ridicule" (Department of Defence News Briefing - Secretary
Rumsfeld and Gen. Pace, 22 January 2002)
|Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.
press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by
one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community.
you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information,
please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)
Read our Guidelines
for Submitting News Releases
1997-2003 Common Dreams.