Images of POWs violates Geneva Convention, experts say

Los Angeles Times, Mar. 24, 2002
By Judy Pasternak, Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON–Article 13 of the Geneva Convention, adopted in 1949, states that prisoners of war shall not be exposed to “public curiosity.” The broadcast images of American captives in uniform, terror on their faces as they are questioned about why they came to Iraq, clearly violate the rules, according to international law experts and human rights advocates.

The International Committee of the Red Cross joined U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in denouncing the broadcasts on Iraqi television, which were later picked up by Qatar’s Al-Jazeera satellite network. “It’s very clear that prisoners of war shouldn’t be subject to public exposure,” Red Cross spokeswoman Nadia Doumani told Agence France-Presse.

But the United States has also been criticized for photo images of prisoners it has captured. Indeed, it was the last nation publicly scolded by the Red Cross for the release of footage showing al-Qaida and Taliban captives, bound and sullen, as they were transported to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba and