To what extent have BRITFOR breached the Geneva Convention?

#1
Or, indeed - have BRTIFOR breached the Geneva Convention?

Today's Independent leads with the photograph below and write up as below.

Excerpt: A photograph handed to The Independent claims to show Iraqi civilians captured in southern Iraq being mistreated by British soldiers in breach of international law and the Geneva Conventions.

The incident is to be investigated at a public inquiry to be announced tomorrow by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, which will also examine evidence of one of the worst atrocities ever carried out by the British Army.

It is claimed that hours after the picture, left, was taken, the four men were transferred to a UK-run detention camp where they were badly beaten and where 20 other civilians were murdered by British soldiers.

Lawyers for the men say the photograph, held by the Army since May 2004 but only disclosed this year, supports evidence of the routine abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

The covering of a prisoner's face and rear handcuffing on the ground is a breach of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions which prohibits the humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees.

When this is done to support interrogations, as in this case, it also contravenes Article 31: prohibition of physical and moral coercion. It is also a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the Army's own rules on the hooding of prisoners.

The International Committee of the Red Cross raised concerns about similar breaches in February 2004 when it warned the UK and US governments of these practices. The new evidence will add to calls for a full and proper public inquiry into 33 further abuse cases involving allegations against the British Army in Iraq between 2003 and 2008.

Last night, Lord David Ramsbotham, a former commander of the British Field Army and a former chief inspector of prisons, said he believed the picture showed inhuman and degrading treatment. He told The Independent: "There can be few people who have not been sickened, and saddened, by the images of Iraqi citizens being subjected to what is well described as inhuman and degrading treatment, at the hands of certain British soldiers.

"Sickened because this is not the kind of treatment associated with a nation that calls itself civilised; saddened because it besmirches the reputation of the British Army, so carefully preserved by so many people in many different circumstances," he said.

Kevin Laue, the legal adviser to Redress, which works with victims of torture, said: "In my view, what the photograph shows could well constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment ... they appear to have been blindfolded to such an extent that almost their whole face has been covered, including the nose and even the mouth, which if so would obviously make normal breathing difficult...
 

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#4
Surely the civillian police handcuff detainees behind the back for their own protection? In a conflict situation, where death and seriuos injury are highly possible, what is the problem with hooding providing it is done only for personal protection? It also protects them I would have thought, making them compiant and easily controlled in a situation where guns are bristling.

Another attack on the soldiers I think - fed up of hearing them.
 
#5
Soldiers have got to stop taking "happy snaps" because the enemy and the bedwetting liberals will use the pics against us.

The bedwetting liberals don't ever mention the treatment and real torture handed out by the enemy do they.
 
#6
ABrighter2006 said:
Or, indeed - have BRTIFOR breached the Geneva Convention?

Today's Independent leads with the photograph below and write up as below.

with truth applied ................

Kevin Laue, the legal adviser to Redress, which works with victims of torture, said: "In my view, this offers me an excellent opportunity to make myself a lot of money through making spurious claims against the MOD. In addition Redress, my employers, will be able to raise their public profile and hopefully solicit some more donations in the run up to Christmas, and maybe even some funding for a new program overseas.
everybody has to make a living I suppose!
 
#7
According to the Indie these insurgents had been taken during an attempted ambush on UK forces, so in that light they seem to be getting treated pretty well to me. What do the media expect our blokes to be doing, handing out Lam Bams and sweet brews to the poor dears?

Sections of the left leaning media have really got their crusties in a twist over the positive coverage of the army recently and are spitefully trying to reassure their core readership that soldiers are in fact the evil swine they always suspected.
 
#8
scuba_frog said:
Surely the civillian police handcuff detainees behind the back for their own protection? In a conflict situation, where death and seriuos injury are highly possible, what is the problem with hooding providing it is done only for personal protection? It also protects them I would have thought, making them compiant and easily controlled in a situation where guns are bristling.

Another attack on the soldiers I think - fed up of hearing them.[/quote]

Agree'd :roll:

BUT as the start of the Iraq inquiry has just begun I suspect we'll be hearing a LOT via our "story hungry media" :roll:

Dig in fella's, this is going to be a long one :(
 
#9
Our security guards recently forcibly restrained a guy on the reception floor and bloody glad for it we were too. I imagine the compo claim is already inbound so better cancel the new CAT scanner and slash next years budget.
 
#10
No doubt Mr Shiner will be rubbing "its" hands with glee at this point thinking about future claims/fee's, the tosser!
 
#11
Just because the men on the ground are in civilian clothes and currently unarmed does not make them civilians. Surely, if they were captured during an attempted ambush, does this not make them unlawful combatants in violation of International Law, and therefore no longer subject to the Geneva Conventions.

And whilst on the subject of Geneva Conventions, I have read it several times and still cannot find the section that states that its ok to behead a prisoner and post the film on the internet.

I demand that Shiner do his research properly and meet with the insurgents to discuss their actions. Hell I'll even pay for his ticket to Baghdad, and back, if he lives that long.
 
#12
scuba_frog said:
Surely the civillian police handcuff detainees behind the back for their own protection? In a conflict situation, where death and seriuos injury are highly possible, what is the problem with hooding providing it is done only for personal protection? It also protects them I would have thought, making them compiant and easily controlled in a situation where guns are bristling.

Another attack on the soldiers I think - fed up of hearing them.
Not just our police, handcuffing behind the back and hooding of suspects, in particular those suspected of terrorism and or organised crime, seems SOP. People suspected of violent crime have to be rendered harmless, any thing else is inviting more violence.
 
#13
Maybe next time we should just shoot the feckers out in the field, rather than take prisoners. It seems less likely to cause problems in the future.
 
#14
Do you really expect any less from The Independant? A leftie, tree hugging paper such as The Independant loves photos like this and will publish them without any research into what actually happened before the photo was taken. What a non story; soldiers handcuff and restraint suspected insurgents and have an armed guard watching over them. WOW! Fair enough, perhaps the photo shouldn't have been taken but oh well.
 
#15
I must apologise. I am an Independent reader, and so keep this newspaper going.

However, this story is complete and utter drivel for a specific audience.

I also can see fcuk all wrong with what is going on in that photograph.

Handcuffed and guarded - people who have just tried to ambush you. Yeah - evil ba$tards those soldiers
 
#16
CombatCarer said:
Just because the men on the ground are in civilian clothes and currently unarmed does not make them civilians. Surely, if they were captured during an attempted ambush, does this not make them unlawful combatants in violation of International Law, and therefore no longer subject to the Geneva Conventions.
Spot on frankly.....

Article 4
A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

3. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

4. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

5. Members of crews [of civil ships and aircraft], who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention:

1. Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country...
Correct me if I'm wrong of course, but I don't think these militants fit any of the above criteria to be treated as POWs?
 
#17
As they are 'unlawful combatants' under the GC, we would be perfectly within our legals rights to walk round to each of them in turn and give them a bullet in the back of the head.


"We are obliged to hold that such guerrillas were francs tireurs who, upon capture, could be subjected to the death penalty. Consequently, no criminal responsibility attaches to the defendant List because of the execution of captured partisans..."

TRIAL OF WILHELM LIST AND OTHERS

UNITED STATES MILITARY TRIBUNAL, NUREMBERG
 
#18
It really annoys me when these anti forces lefty scum start quoting things they have no knowledge about. How many times has a fcuking student said 'Geneva Convention' not knowing what the fcuk it is.

VH
 
#19
As has been stated, They are not in a recognised military force and do not wear uniform.

So if some leftie twat wants to get all technical, maybe they should recognise the legal fact that under the Geneva convention......those " innocent " were very lucky to have been taken alive.
 
#20
The covering of a prisoner's face and rear handcuffing on the ground is a breach of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions which prohibits the humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees.
I'm not a lawyer, but this statement seems a remarkable leap of logic. If there's a security need for covering a prisoner's face & rear handcuffing, I don't see how this is 'humiliating and degrading'?

How far do we take this? I'd find being captured pretty 'humiliating and degrading'. Maybe we should all sit on our hands doing nothing, but happy that we're not breaching anyone's basic rights.

I don't see the point of the Independent. Terrible paper. Terrible journalists, not least their claimed experts on Iraq.
 

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