If current thinking prevails, however, our choice is limited to this profoundly troubling Geneva Convention
option on one hand or, on the other, abandonment of the law of war altogether to resolve these issues in a peacetime context.
The notion that the Geneva Conventions
do not apply to Taliban prisoners never made any sense.
Lib-Dem defence spokesman Paul Keetch said: "The president was at pains to say he was at war and all prisoners taken should be treated as PoWs under the Geneva Convention
While saying that most of the protections set down by the Geneva Conventions
would be provided the detainees in Cuba, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has insisted the captives held at the base in Cuba are not legal combatants and as such are not prisoners of war, a legal status that would provide them with greater rights under the Geneva Conventions
, which the United States and most other nations are party to.
In the event of territorial occupation, persons suspected or accused of committing acts hostile to the occupying power, persons tried for such acts and penal law prisoners by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention
(for instance, Palestinians detained or interned by Israel).
Most provisions of the Geneva Conventions
and Hague rules have express application only during armed conflict between states--not, for example, during civil war within a state.
UN Security Council Resolution 446 refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention
as the applicable international legal instrument, and calls upon Israel to desist from transferring its own population into the territories or changing their demographic makeup.
It stated: "PHROC therefore emphasizes that in order to bring to an end Israel's repeated disregard of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention
, the High Contracting Parties must discuss, agree upon, and undertake concrete action to ensure that Israel's pattern in conducting hostilities across the OPT, particularly in the Gaza Strip, is not tolerated.
Ambassador Riyad Mansour told the Security Council that the international community was obliged to ensure protection of Palestinian civilians under the Geneva Conventions
on the conduct of war and occupation.
Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention
prohibits each party to the conflict from taking of hostages, killing, mutilation, torture and other degrading treatment, among others, of 'persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces'.
government, however, determined that al-Qaeda terrorists and members of the Taliban captured during the course of this conflict did not meet the requirements of prisoners of war and, as such, were not entitled to the protections of the Third Geneva Convention
Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (GCIII).
Settlements are illegal under international law as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention
, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying powers civilian population into occupied territory.