yozzee | 24.10.2004 22:12
Apparently this can constitute a war crime under the Geneva Convention. From Reuters:
U.S. intelligence officials have transferred detainees out of Iraq for interrogation, a move that experts say violates international law, The Washington Post reported in its Sunday edition.
The CIA has invoked a confidential memo written by the Justice Department to justify secretly transferring as many as a dozen detainees out of Iraq in the last six months, the Post said.
The CIA has hidden the detainees from the International Red Cross and other authorities, the Post said, citing an unnamed intelligence official.
In a March 19, 2004, memo the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel said the CIA can take Iraqis out of the country for a "brief but not indefinite period" and can permanently remove those determined to be illegal aliens, the Post said.
Some specialists in international law say the opinion amounts to a reinterpretation of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits forcible transfers of civilians during wartime, the Post said.
The CIA and Justice Department declined to comment for the article, but a White House official disputed the notion that the Justice Department's interpretation of the Geneva Conventions was unusual.
The memo noted that violation of that portion of the treaty could constitute a war crime and that officials should proceed carefully, the Post said.
The U.S. government transferred al Qaeda fighters out of Afghanistan during the war there after it ruled that they were not protected by the treaty. Former members of the Iraqi military and Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, by contrast, are considered to be protected by the treaty, the Post said.