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February 8, 2002
1245 IST

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Taliban prisoners to be governed by Geneva Convention

T V Parasuram in Washington

United States President George Bush has decided that the Geneva Convention will apply to the Taliban men captured in the anti-terror campaign in Afghanistan, but maintained that they will not get the Prisoner of War status.

The White House announced that the Geneva Convention, however, will not apply to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda fighters.

"Although we never recognised the Taliban as the legitimate Afghan government, Afghanistan is a party to the convention, and the president has determined that the Taliban are covered by the convention," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters in Washington on Thursday.

The convention grants the detainees the right to reveal no more than their name, rank and serial number.

However, the Taliban detainees do not qualify as PoWs as they had not distinguished themselves from civilians and had neglected 'the laws and customs of war', Fleischer said.

As for the Al Qaeda men, he said they cannot be covered by the convention as the "Al Qaeda is not a state party to the Geneva Convention; it is a foreign terrorist group."

The spokesman said the despite the detainees not being entitled to PoW privileges, they will be provided with many as a matter of policy.

The total number of detainees at the Guantanamo camp has gone up to 186, with 28 more arriving at the Cuban base on Friday.

PTI

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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