Geneva Conventions Out the Window!

Oh my god, nooooo! No, no, no!! This is not my Canada!!!

Troops told Geneva rules don’t apply to Taliban


Globe and Mail Update

WASHINGTON — Canadian troops in Afghanistan have been told the Geneva Conventions and Canadian regulations regarding the rights of prisoners of war don’t apply to Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters captured on the battlefield.

That decision strips detainees of key rights and protections under the rules of war, including the right to be released at the end of the conflict and not to be held criminally liable for lawful combat.

“The whole purpose of those regulations is to know if Geneva applies,” said Amir Attaran, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who has been pressing the Defence Department for details of its detainee policy for months.

How can we possibly live with this?!?

UPDATE 31May06:

Canadians following rules of war, O’Connor says News Staff

Prisoners captured in Afghanistan by Canadian forces will have the rights accorded to them by the Geneva Convention, Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor said Wednesday.

“When they take prisoners, they will always follow the rules of the Geneva Convention, no lower standard than that,” he told the Commons.

His comments are in response to an article published in Wednesday’s Globe and Mail.

That’s a relief!

UPDATE 2 02Jun06:

Have a look at this reminder to be wary of the puppeteer.

8 thoughts on “Geneva Conventions Out the Window!

  1. Cough,

    ‘“They are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status but they are entitled to prisoner-of-war treatment,” he said, asserting that all detainees are humanely treated.’

    Are you suggesting they don’t deserve humane treatment!


  2. With the Geneva Conventions, it’s all or none. You can’t cherrypick which part of an international agreement you’ll stick to and which you’ll toss out the window! Those Conventions are important, lest we forget!!

  3. You can’t say the troops are “at war” then in the next breath say international standards for conducting war don’t have to be met. Shame on us.

  4. The Geneva Convention _is not_ all or none. There are four Articles and numerous ammendments all with different ratifications. At least know what it is that you’re crying about.

    Go read it.

    First article regarding Land forces –
    Third article regarding POW’s –

    It is very specific in what it covers and what it does not. For instance, the requirement of uniforms. Without them, under the Geneva convention, it’s legal for the Taliban fighters to be treated as spies and summarily shot. The CF has military, national and international law on their side in this decision, you cry because they aren’t following it, but you’d be howling if they followed it to the letter.

    People outside of the military seem to think that the Geneva convention is some all emcompassing Human Rights document that respects the natural goodness in man. Bullshit. The Geneva convention simply sets out the rules for butchering each other,

    Shall we look at how POWS’s can qualify for the death penalty? (Note: real POW’s, caught while in the uniform of their military)

    Part III : Captivity #Section VI : Relations between prisoners of war and the authorities #Chapter III : Penal and disciplinary sanctions #III. Judicial proceedings
    ARTICLE 100

    Prisoners of war and the Protecting Powers shall be informed as soon as possible of the offences which are punishable by the death sentence under the laws of the Detaining Power.
    Other offences shall not thereafter be made punishable by the death penalty without the concurrence of the Power upon which the prisoners of war depend.
    The death sentence cannot be pronounced on a prisoner of war unless the attention of the court has, in accordance with Article 87, second paragraph, been particularly called to the fact that since the accused is not a national of the Detaining Power, he is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance, and that he is in its power as the result of circumstances independent of his own will.

    So. tell them what it offense is, if they do it, hold a military court where you tell the court that as a foreign national the pow isn’t bound to follow the same law. Then shoot the POW.

    Yeah, really respectful human rights oriented document there.


  5. I am one of those Canadian Soldiers applying the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) in the Field. I have been to Afghanistan twice. I have been briefed and briefed again on LOAC. I can assure you that the modern CF is well versed in the rules of war. We are the ones who will live and die by them. You, as Canadians, are probably fielding some of the most morally grounded troops in the world. The Somalia incident was years ago and the CF has made the proper corrections. When you look at the Geneva conventions you must look at them as a minimum standard. You could argue that PW in Afghanistan present themselves out of any official uniform and could be treated as spies. We choose not to treat them as spies. They are not spies. They are combatants. They have an organization and a leader even though they can’t afford uniforms. There is no reason we should behave like the Americans and take it upon ourselves to rewrite the law or apply the minimum standards of it to ourselves. Remember that Canadian troops are still Canadians and we uphold the standards of this country.

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