Background Paper on Geneva Conventions and Persons Held by U.S. Forces

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This background paper highlights the international law issues surrounding the status and treatment of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan in U.S. custody. It cites the need for a formal and individualized determination of prisoner of war status where that status is in doubt. This paper also sets out international law requirements governing prisoners of war and so-called "unlawful combatants," including humane treatment, interrogation and prosecution.

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