"Disgusting” and “absolutely unacceptable” were the terms used by General John Abizaid to describe Iraqi and al-Jazeera television broadcasts showing dazed and wounded American prisoners of war and corpses of American soldiers.
The general is right. Article 13 of the 1949 Geneva convention on prisoners of war, a legally binding treaty to which nearly all nations—including the U.S. and Iraq—are parties, requires that POWs be “humanely treated.” It specifies that they “must at all times be protected, particularly . . . against insults and public curiosity.”
As recognized by the respected guardian of the Geneva conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, this means that POWs are not to be displayed before television cameras and especially not, as in this instance, interrogated before TV cameras and microphones.