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The prisoners in Gitmo - The Geneva Convention

We are grateful to Ed. Jajko for giving us the urls of the Text of the Geneva Convention and the convention on the treatment of the sick and wounded. The Geneva Convention (1950) (
http://www) is a long document: 140 articles and 5 annexes. The most relevant article would seem to be 4, section 6, which says, among other things, that "the 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" shall be considered prisoners of war. However, would "inhabitants" include Saudi Arabians who have gone to Afghanistan?

The convention of the treatment of the wounded and sick (1949) ( would apply only to a small number of those at Gitmo. The two conventions were drawn up following World War II and did not foresee a situation like that in Afghanistan. My personal view is that the conventions do not really settle the issue.

Ronald Hilton - 1/22/02