LOAC Status of Camp Delta Prisoners.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by 5_mile_sniper, Feb 20, 2004.

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  1. With the release of 5 british prisoners from Guantanamo Bay announced today I was interested to find out what peoples' views were on their status should be under the Laws of Armed Conflict.

    As far as I can see, the Spams' claims that they are "Illegal Enemy Combatants" are pretty shaky.

    Although they were a dictatorial regime, the Taliban were still the government in Afghanistan and therefore within their rights to establish an army/defence force.

    From what I remeber of LOAC if a person is a member of a standing army/defence force then they are protected under the Geneva and Hague conventions and therefore can't be asked to give anything more than the "Big 5" to their captors and should not be tortured and imprisoned beyond the scope of any conflict in which they were involved.

    In the case of the Britons and other foreign nationals that were fighting alongside the Taliban, yes you could argue that they were mercenaries and not protected as such. But what about the local Afghanis? Surely holding them would be illegal as they were merely defending themselves against a foreign power that has declared war on and invaded their country and even those who were not part of an army/defence force, but took up arms to defend themselves would be protected under the "Levee en masse" clause of LOAC.

    I'm not interested in arguments concerning innocence or guilt of the prisoners, just in the legal status.

    Over to you...
     
  2. Bit hazy on this, but as far as I can recall, irregular paramilitaries are to be accorded the same rights as regular troops providing they are under a recognised command structure. As a signatory to the Geneva Convention, the US has breached if not the letter then the spirit of LoAC.
    I understand their reasons, but it don't make it right...
     
  3. I think the general feeling is LOAC doesn't apply to what are technically Mercenaries. assuming they were lifted clutching AK's and inviting Allah to help them slay unbelievers.

    What does concern me, is that 2? of those suspects were lifted outside Afghanistan, one in Zambia!

    They may be guilty as a Puppy sitting next to a pile of poo , then again they might not be. One of the released came from Denmark, the Danes say they see no reason to detain him on his return.

    The Saudis have had some of their citizens released longtime, but we have had to negotiate , allegedly hard, to get our people back. Which doesn't say an awful lot for the "Special relationship"

    Watched a lot of this last night, lawyers for the detained mentioned one of the detainees/released , was coerced into making a statement , that he planned to attack Parliament with Ricin!

    I guess more will become clear as time goes on
     
  4. yes the mercenary rule could be an interesting one to go to court with.
     
  5. Tecnically Mercenaries? Are the Ghurkas viewed by other Nations as 'technically mercenaries', or the French Foreign Legion (who fought alongside the 8th Army in North Africa before anyone says they have no connections to us)?

    Not too happy about that PTP...
     
  6. What an effective recruiting sergeant Camp Delta must be! Remember the 70s and internment in NI?

    There is some worrying talk about using "special treatment" with regard to terrorist suspects. This is heavily reminiscent of the Sonderhandlung label that the Nazis applied to their dealings with Jews. Some US right-wingers have even talked up the idea of summary executions of terrorist suspects. All it takes is for good people to do nothing.

    The Spams only have a nation of 300million souls. This is approximately 1/20th of the world's population! There are a lot of people out there and they can't waste everyone. They should remember this!
     
  7. Gold Star for effort though...
     
  8. gold star for being self rightious choppers
     
  9. Anyone who's read any of my posts knows I'm no fan of US foreign policy or of US Military's ability to combat anything more dangerous than athlete's foot, but I think they may come unstuck over this. The Hague Convention applies to all and War Crimes Tribunals are not only set up for dodgy Balkan geezers with Father Ted Haircuts...
     
  10. Interesting point about Gurkhas/FFL, are they mercs if assimilated into a nations' regular command structure?

    I think my main gripe with the Spams' handling of this is to do with the blatant double standards that they apply. If any of their blokes get captured then they're straight in there reminding everbody about how their people should be treated under the Geneva Convention and warning lots of nasty revenge if they're not looked after. When the boot is on the other foot they feel that they can waive the rights of anyone they capture (some not even in theatre) by claiming that they are Terrorists or Illegal Combatants.

    Just because you don't like someone's political/religious flavour doesn't give you the right to treat them how you feel like. Soldiers go into battle in the knowledge that there are laws that attempt to afford them some protection in what is oterwise a pretty nasty business. For any country, especially one that is a major signatory to these laws, to start ignoring them because it suits them is a pretty dangerous precedent to set.

    If anybody is brave enough to stand and fight, they deserve to be protected under the Geneva convention, simple as that.
     
  11. Yep, that about sums it up as long as the fighting is conducted along reasonably civilised lines, ie no women*, no kids, no executing/torturing PoWs etc.

    * I'll never be convinced that women belong in ground-force teeth arms. Never mind the stength/stamina issues - the Israelis tried it and it don't work.
    Happy to see female fighter pilots though - the female form is much better adapted to hi-G manouevering it seems - and tres sexy in a tight green flightsuited kind of way...Grrr...
    (incoming!!!)
     
  12. I think that the real reason the US are still hanging onto most of the detainees is that they are too embarassed to admit that after all that effort they ended up with a bunch of low-level muppets.

    If any of these people were serious players the US would have put them on trial like a shot. Instead we hear nothing.
     
  13. Slightly off topic but what will be interesting will be the reception given to the retunees?!!

    I have a feeling that they may be treated as hero's in certain parts of the country!!
     
  14. The Tories are calling for them to be tried for treason if its proven they fought against brits. What everyone reckon, treason?

    Hang them :twisted:
     
  15. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    ...in the style of the Islamic countries they all admire so much, naturally: in public, from a crane. :twisted: