Yielding to pressure from humanitarian groups, Congress and the Supreme Court, the U.S. Army will release a new field manual that affords all detainees protection from torture under the Geneva Convention. The new document will ban several ?interrogation? methods that have drawn criticism, including simulated drowning and the use of dogs to terrorize detainees.

Human Rights groups are reserving judgment until the manual is officially released.

Los Angeles Times:

Under the new guidelines, prisoners of war ? defined as members of uniformed militaries captured on a battlefield ? may receive certain extra considerations as mandated by the Geneva Convention, such as being allowed to retain their personal effects and to refuse to answer detailed questions. But ceding to congressional demands, the manual establishes a single baseline standard of care and treatment for all detainees, regardless of their status.

“All detainees will be treated consistent with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention,” said a military official who was not allowed to discuss the manual before it was made public and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Common Article 3 ? found in each of the four Geneva pacts approved in 1949 ? prohibits torture and cruel treatment. Unlike other parts of the Geneva agreements, it covers all detainees, whether they are unlawful combatants or traditional prisoners of war.


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