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Geneva Convention on prisoners of war

09-02-2002 News Release

Geneva (ICRC) -The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) welcomes the United States' reaffirmation of the applicability of the Third Geneva Convention to the international armed conflict in Afghanistan, and its recognition of the treaty's importance and value.

Geneva (ICRC) -The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) welcomes the United States'reaffirmation of the applicability of the Third Geneva Convention to the international armed conflict in Afghanistan, and its recognition of the treaty's importance and value.

International Humanitarian Law foresees that the members of armed forces as well as militias associated to them which are captured by the adversary in an international armed conflict are protected by the Third Geneva Convention. There are divergent views between the United States and the ICRC on the procedures which apply on how to determine that the persons detained are not entitled to prisoner of war status. The United States and the ICRC will pursue their dialogue on this issue.

The ICRC remains firmly convinced that compliance with international humanitarian law in no manner constitutes an obstacle to the struggle against terror and crime.

International humanitarian law grants the detaining power the right to legally prosecute prisoners of war suspected of having committed war crimes or any other criminal offence prior to or during the hostilities.

The United States has demonstrated its respect and support for the ICRC's humanitarian mandate and activities in past and present conflict situations. ICRC delegates continue to be able to visit all persons detained by US forces both in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, in accordance with the organization's mandate set forth in the Third Geneva Convention.