June 13, 2004

Intl Red Cross to USA: "Charge Saddam by 6/30 or let him go!"

The International Committee on the Red Cross has given the United States an ultimatum: Charge Saddam Hussain by June 30, or free him.

Nada Doumani, a spokeswoman for the ICRC, told the (UK) Guardian: "The United States defines Saddam Hussein as a prisoner of war. At the end of an occupation PoWs have to be released provided they have no penal charges against them."

Her comments came as the international body, the only independent group with access to detainees in US custody, becomes increasingly concerned over the legal limbo in which thousands of people are being held in the run-up to the transfer of power at the end of the month.

"There are all these people kept in a legal vacuum. No one should be left not knowing their legal status. Their judicial rights must be assured," Ms Doumani said.

"If we consider the occupation ends on June 30, that would mean it's the end of the international armed conflict. This is the legal situation.

"When the conflict ends the prisoners of war should be released according to the Geneva conventions," Ms Doumani said.

I've got a solution, which involves a message to the ICRC: "What part of NO, do you not understand?"

Posted by mhking at June 13, 2004 10:17 PM

There's more on this story developing. The Iraqi interim govt announced we're handing over Saddam in two weeks, and America promptly responded by saying no such plans existed. This story has legs. And hair.

Posted by: Beck at June 15, 2004 09:35 AM
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