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Insurgents in Iraq are committing war crimes by targeting Iraqi civilians perceived to be cooperating with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), Human Rights Watch said today.
International humanitarian law, or the laws of war, absolutely prohibits the targeting of civilians. Civilians working for the occupying power are not legitimate targets of attack.
"All Iraqi civilians are protected by the Geneva Conventions," said Joe Stork, acting executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division. "It doesn't matter whether they sympathize with the U.S. occupation, or with the insurgents."
Today's car bomb attack in the Iraqi holy city of al-Najaf was a deliberate attack on civilians that violates the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said.
"Attacks that intentionally target civilians are war crimes," said Hanny Megally, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East division. "We call on all Iraqi political groups and community leaders to condemn these atrocities, to support every effort to prevent them, and to bring the perpetrators to justice."
Question: For those within the ATS community that condone [ie: approve of, sanction, agree with, etc.] the use of suicide bombers by the insurgency and foreign fighters, what are your thoughts and comments on the above articles and what they declare that such acts are classified as?
as posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm not aware that the insurgents are military, so I'm not sure how their actions can be categorized as 'war crimes'.
as posted by Benevolent Heretic
I have thunder and lightening. Have to shut down. I'll check back later.
Originally posted by Seekerof
*wearing civilain clothing to mask their military operations
*the feigning of civilain status by hiding among the civilain population
*using the civilain population as 'human shields'
*the luring of Coalition forces by faking surrenders
*feigning death so as to draw Coalition forces into traps, etc.
*the booby-trapping of dead bodies, be they civilain or soldiers
*blantant kidnapping of national/foreign officials
*the blantant killing of national/foreign officials
The evidence is clear that during the period of occupation in Yugoslavia and Greece, guerrilla warfare was carried on against the occupying power. Guerrilla warfare is said to exist where, after the capitulation of the main part of the armed forces, the surrender of the government and the occupation of its territory, the remnant of the defeated army or the inhabitants themselves continue hostilities by harassing the enemy with unorganized forces ordinarily not strong enough to meet the enemy in pitched battle. They are placed much in the same position as a spy. By the law of war it is lawful to use spies. Nevertheless, a spy when captured may be shot because the belligerent has the right, by means of an effective deterrent punishment, to defend against the grave dangers of enemy spying. The principle therein involved applies to guerrillas who are not lawful belligerents. Just as the spy may act lawfully for his country and at the same time be a war criminal to the enemy, so guerrillas may render great service to their country and, in the event of success, become heroes even, still they remain war criminals in the eyes of the enemy and may be treated as such. In no other way can an army guard and protect itself from the gadfly tactics of such armed resistance. And, on the other hand, members of such resistance forces must accept the increased risks involved in this mode of fighting. Such forces are technically not lawful belligerents and are not entitled to protection as prisoners of war when captured…..
…. We think the rule is established that a civilian who aids, abets or participates in the fighting is liable to punishment as a war criminal under the laws of war. Fighting is legitimate only for the combatant personnel of a country. It is only this group that is entitled to treatment as prisoners of war and incurs no liability beyond detention after capture or surrender.
Case Number 47, the “Hostage Trial” The Trial of Wilhelm List and Others
(Link to Trial Part III mentioned above) begin near pg. 55