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Iraq: Treatment of POWs

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

AI-index: MDE 14/037/2003 23/03/2003

Iraq: Treatment of POWs

Amnesty International calls on the Iraqi authorities to treat United States (US) prisoners of war in full conformity with the Third Geneva Convention, following the broadcast today on Iraqi television of captured US soldiers. They should 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.

According 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).

Amnesty International also calls on all media to ensure in its use of images that the dignity of all prisoners of war, whether Iraqi or US or other, is respected.

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