Thursday, March 29, 2007

Iran Violates Geneva Convention?

Regarding forcing British sailor Faye Turney to don an Islamic head covering, Hugh Hewitt points to the third convention of the 1949 Geneva Convention, art. 13 (emphasis added):
Art 13. Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
But are the captured personnel "prisoners of war?" Art. 4(1) provides:
Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.
At this point it gets hazy. Iran is not the "enemy" of the UK and there is no "conflict" between the two countries.

Nevertheless, making her wear Islamic dress is without question not protecting her against insults and public curiosity. Those against forced religion and sexism had better stand up for her.