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Shrek
04-07-2011, 07:37 PM
Aussie troops defied war prisoner laws

There are calls for an independent inquiry after revelations Australian troops in Iraq and Afghanistan handed captives over to allies, to avoid their obligations to prisoners of war.

Such an inquiry could establish if the Defence Force's "shadow policy" on detainees of war continues to exist, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) chief executive, Ed Santow, said.

When Australia joined the US-led war in Afghanistan in 2001, Canberra promised that captives would be given the full protection of the Geneva Conventions.

Australian troops were therefore bound by strict standards for the humane treatment of prisoners, including a prohibition on torture.

But in practice the US was always regarded as the formal "detaining" power when prisoners were captured, even if only one US soldier was present in operations involving much larger numbers of Australian troops.

Secret Defence Force documents, obtained by the PIAC under freedom-of-information laws, detail one case in April 2003 where 66 prisoners apprehended in Iraq by 20 Australian troops were deemed to have been "captured" by a single US officer present.

The captives included a 43-year-old Iranian man who later died in UK custody. US investigators said he died of a heart attack but "credible allegations" suggest he was beaten to death, Mr Santow said.

"Unlike the US, Australia committed to respect international law and the Geneva Conventions," Mr Santow told ninemsn.

"But in reality we adopted a shadow policy for capturing and detaining suspected combatants and this policy completely undermined international law".

The Defence Force documents, which relate to prisoners of war in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2004, reveal the war-on-terror allies were divided on how to treat captured al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

Australia felt bound by international law on treating captives as legitimate prisoners of war, while then US president George Bush labelled them ''unlawful combatants'' outside the Geneva protocols.

In a memo dated February 2002, then Defence Force chief Admiral Chris Barrie even warned then Defence Minister Robert Hill that the prisoner ''arrangement may not fully satisfy Australia's legal obligations and in any event will not be viewed as promising a respect for the rule of law''.

The PIAC is calling for an inquiry into the death of the Iranian prisoner and into the Defence Force's detention practices.

Ninemsn is awaiting a comment from the Defence Department

Aussie troops defied war prisoner laws (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8268787/aussie-troops-defied-war-prisoner-laws)

Fadi
13-07-2011, 01:13 AM
They should make a Hollywood movie and call it: USA above the law, the international law that is!

People use empty words and terms each and everyday of the week; words and terms such as:

Democracy
Freedom of speech
Human rights
Justice
Peace
Freedom
Self-rule (now that's a funny one!!!).

It's all selective and it all changes with time and boarders. I say there’s only one sure term and that is good old hypocrisy!

Edit: I've come back to add this: each and every country on this planet has its short comings and not a single country is perfect and free from wrong doings; it's all a matter of degrees.


Fadi.

Admin
13-07-2011, 02:02 AM
it happens in every war , they go on about how our troops were treating in prisoner of war camps , but our troops have done the same thing

history is written by the "winners"

Fadi
13-07-2011, 02:17 AM
...history is written by the "winners"GOLD!
Thank you Graeme.



Fadi.