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Identifying prisoners of war - ADF Advisory

Identifying prisoners of war

Department of Defence is aware that some news organisations have shown images of prisoners of war (POWs) in the course of covering the events of the conflict in Iraq.

Media organisations should be aware of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention III, which states that POWs must at all times be "protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."

Article 27 of the Geneva Convention IV has the same provisions for civilian detainees and civilian internees. This includes restrictions of photographing and filming POWs, civilian detainees and civilian internees.

Defence requests media organisations "pixilate" the faces of both Coalition and Iraqi prisoners of war.

The Australian Defence Force will treat all captives humanely and will comply with the laws of armed conflict to which Australia is bound as was demonstrated recently with POWs aboard HMAS Kanimbla.

Any stills or vision taken by ADF Public Affairs personnel in the MEAO goes through a rigorous clearance process prior to its release to ensure compliance with the conventions.

Any vision that is deemed inappropriate for release is retained for evidentiary and or historical purposes, at the appropriate classification.

Defence requests the assistance of the media organisations in ensuring that Australia meets its obligations under the conventions.


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