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On January 11, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared that captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters shipped to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba were "unlawful combatants" not entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions, the laws governing the rights of persons captured during armed conflict. In a letter to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, in op-eds and in extensive television, radio, and newspaper interviews around the world, Human Rights Watch noted that the Geneva Conventions dictate that all captured fighters, including "unlawful combatants," are entitled to humane treatment, including basic shelter, clothing, food and medical attention.

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