View Full Version : Discuss provisions of Geneva convention on prisoner of war. (1998)(2003)

09-07-2012, 11:20 PM
1. Introduction:
The rules of treatment of the prisoner of war are governed by the Geneva convention 1949. this convention is regarded most important convention on the protection of the prisoners of war.
2. Prisoner of war:
Prisoner of war is a status which is given to a person captured by a belligerent during a war or in an armed conflict all the persons captured by the belligerents do not acquire this status.
3. Persons treated as prisoner of war:
Article 4 of the Geneva convention enummerat that certain categories of persons who have fallen into the hands of enemy shall be called as prisoner of war which are following.
(i) Member of armed forces of a party to the conflict.
(ii) Members of militias and member of volunteer corps, which also fulfil the following conditions.
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates.
(b) That they have a distinctive sign which can be recognized from distance.
(c) That they have a distinctive sign which can be recognized from distance.
(d) That they carry arms.
(e) That they obscure the laws and custom of war.
(iii) Members of the armed forces who profess allegiance to a govt. or an authority not recognized by the detaining power.
(iv) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being member of armed forces.
(v) Inhabitants of a non- occupied territory who take up arm to resist the invading forces without having had time themselves into regular armed units.
4. Sir Robert Phillimore's views:
According to Sir Robert Phillimore following classes of person have no claim to the treatment of the prisoners of war.
(a) Bands of marauders, acting without the authority of the sovereign or the order of the military commander.
(b) Deserters, captured among the enemy troops.
(c) Spies, even if they belong to regular army.
5. Fundamental principles relating to prisoners of war:
The Geneva convention 1949 contain the following important provisions relating to treatment of prisoners of war.
(i) Human treatment of prisoners:
Prisoners of war at all time be humanly treated. international law protects the prisoners from the punishment for hostile acts committed prior to capture.
(ii) Prohibition as to any act harmful for health:
Any unlawful act or omission by the detaining power causing death or seriously endangering the health of the prisoners of war is prohibited.
(iii) No physical multilation:
No prisoner of war may be subjected to physical multilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kinds which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoners.
(iv) Protection against act of violation:
Prisoners of war at, all times be protected, particularly against acts of violation.
(v) Right to respect of their persons and their honour:
Prisoner of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect of their persons and their honour.
(vi) Maintenance of prisoners:
The detaining power shall be bound to provide free of charge for maintenance for medical attention required by their state of health.
(vii) Equality of treatment:
The detaining power should teat prisoners equally without any distinction based on nationality religious belief or politically.
(viii) No physical and mental torture:
No physical or mental torture no any other form of coercion may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. prisoner of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.
(ix) Right to possession of articles of personal use:
All effects and articles of personal use except arms, horse, military equipment and military documents shall remain in their possession likewise their metal helmet's and gas masks, like article issued for their personal protection.
(x) Quarter facilities:
Prisoners shall be provided quarter facilities similar as to those of the detaining power. the premises should be protected from dampness. they should be adequately heated and lighted. all precautions must be taken against the danger of their life. the detaining power should provide separate dormitories to woman prisoners. the detaining power shall also be bound to take all sanitary measures necessary to ensure the cleanliness of camp and to prevent epidemic.
(xi) Identity documents:
At no time prisoners of war be without identity documents. the detaining power shall supply such documents to the prisoners of war who possess none.
6. Present position regarding geneva convention of P. O. W:
Presently powerful states have ignored the geneva convention regarding P. O. W. or example U. S. A violated these refuges in Afgan and Iran war. P. O. W. were treated and are being treated in humanly and tortured in Gunatanamo.
7. Conclusion:
To conclude it can be said that international law protects all prisoners of war from punishment for their hostile acts committed prior to capture. the detaining power is not free to enforce its own municipal law except permitted by international law.