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Voice of America, 02-02-14

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>

SLUG: 0-09706 Editorial - Geneva Convention DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

CONTENTS

  • [01] EDITORIAL: GENEVA CONVENTION
  • [02] EDITORIAL: YEMEN TRACKS DOWN TERRORISTS

  • [01] EDITORIAL: GENEVA CONVENTION

    DATE=02/14/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09706
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: There has been a good deal of controversy over whether the Geneva Convention applies to the Taleban and al-Qaida detainees seized by the U-S. After careful analysis, the U-S has determined that the Geneva Convention does apply to the conflict with the Taleban in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Taleban detainees do not meet the Geneva Convention's criteria for prisoner-of-war status. Nor does the convention apply to the conflict with al-Qaida, either in Afghanistan or elsewhere, because al-Qaida are terrorists, not legal combatants. As U-S Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "A central purpose of the Geneva Convention was to protect innocent civilians by distinguishing very clearly between combatants and noncombatants." Under the convention, soldiers are required to wear uniforms that distinguish them from civilians. Taleban fighters did not wear such distinctive insignias, symbols, or uniforms. They sought to blend into the civilian population. Moreover, they did not conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. Instead, they knowingly cooperated with al-Qaida, a terrorist organization responsible for killing Americans. That is why the Taleban do not qualify for prisoner-of-war status. The Geneva Convention signed in 1949 was designed to deal with conflicts between sovereign states. Today, said Mr. Rumsfeld, "the war on terrorism, in which [the U-S] was attacked by and is defending itself against terrorist networks that operate in dozens of countries, was not contemplated by framers of the convention." Nevertheless, the U-S will continue to treat al-Qaida and Taleban detainees humanely. They will continue to receive three meals a day that conform to Muslim dietary law, as well as medical care, clothing, showers, and the opportunity to worship freely. The detainees are visited regularly by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Taleban and al-Qaida oppressed the people of Afghanistan. They killed innocent civilians. They deprived Afghans of their freedom. They used them as shields in battle. Despite all their crimes, they will, as detainees in U.S. custody, be treated in accordance with the rule of law. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. SLUG: 0-09705 Editorial - Yemen Tracks Down Terrorists DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

    [02] EDITORIAL: YEMEN TRACKS DOWN TERRORISTS

    DATE=2/14/2002
    TYPE=EDITORIAL
    NUMBER=0-09705
    INTERNET=Yes CONTENT=THIS EDITORIAL IS BEING RELEASED FOR USE BY ALL SERVICES.
    Anncr: Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Police in the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, this week surrounded the hideout of a man linked to al-Qaida who was wanted in connection with the October 2000 terrorist attack on the U.S.S. Cole. The man, Samir Ahmed Mohammad al-Hada, blew himself up with a hand grenade he had intended to throw at the police. Yemen is one of many nations plagued by the presence of active terrorist cells. Yemen is a known bastion of al-Qaida operatives. Al-Qaida is responsible for the September 11th attacks on America, which killed over three thousand people. But Yemen says it is now committed to working with the U.S. to root out terrorists. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said, "We are dealing with the United States to confront and fight terrorism. Yemen is chasing down al-Qaeda members and any extremist elements that cause security problems for us or for anyplace in the world." Yemen is currently seeking at least two other terrorist suspects. One is a top al-Qaida official, Qaed Salim Sunian al-Harethi. The other, Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal, is wanted by the U.S. for the attack on the Cole. Eighteen soldiers and six tribesmen were killed in December when Yemeni forces pushed into a region where the two were believed to be hiding. Yemen's government is negotiating with tribes that may be sheltering the pair, but said it will use force if they are not turned over. The Yemeni government has begun closing illegal Islamic fundamentalist schools and bringing hundreds of other schools under control through a national curriculum. Foreign students at independent religious schools like the one attended by American Taleban fighter John Walker Lindh have come under scrutiny as the government cracks down on Islamic extremists. Six Americans are among the more than one-hundred Islamic religious students being sent out of the country for visa violations. In addition, border controls have been tightened and security forces have interrogated relatives of Yemenis believed to have received training at al-Qaida terrorist camps in Afghanistan. The United States is helping Yemen in its effort to deny terrorists use of Yemeni territory. The U.S. is offering military training and assistance for creating a force to help the Yemenis protect their coastline. As President George W. Bush has said, the campaign against terrorism is "a long-term project that will require courage and patience. And it is a struggle that every nation must fight." Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-ibb-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043.
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