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Do Iraqis have any rights?

  1. Aug 5, 2003 #1
    From what I can see the US military is detaining Iraqi civilians arbitrarily and on a large scale without any kind of due process - No search warrant, no arrest warrant, no lawyer, no bail, no time limit. If the US government tried to arrest people in such a way in the USA there would be an uproar and the government would be sued for squillions. Do Iraqi citizens have any rights at all? Or can a US soldier deprive an Iraqi citizen of their liberty any time on any whim?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2003 #2
    Haven't you heard? Americans have no rights either, except those which the Justice Department allows us to have. You can be held arbitrarily if you are identified as a troublemaker(read the fine print of the Patriot acts).
     
  4. Aug 6, 2003 #3

    russ_watters

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    Laser Eyes, the concepts you are describing simply do not apply to a war outside our borders. This isn't a simple discussion, but the Geneva Conventions would be a good place to start for learning about the rules of armed conflict. Though implied by some in this forum, I have yet to see any specific instance where the US has violated the Geneva Convention in Iraq. Requests I have made for specific examples have been rebuffed.
     
  5. Aug 14, 2003 #4
    they have the right to remain silent, but they have chosen to waive that right <<rim-shot>>
    No, they don't, because today in Iraq it is the law of the jungle that rules. If Bush were truly smart, in a Machiavellian sense, he'd get his punk ass over to Iraq for a long vacation. Only his presence can restore order there. I'm mad about what's happened and keeps happening there. I'm sick of all the bloodshed. What could've been (and was promoted as) a democratic revolution is obviously a failure far beyond somalia, and could turn into something as screwed up as Israel.
    One fact is unarguable: more Americans die at the hands of Iraqis now than one year ago.
     
  6. Aug 14, 2003 #5

    FZ+

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    We all saw pictures of Iraqi prisoners being taken on live TV didn't we? That breached the geneva convention (Article 13)
     
  7. Aug 14, 2003 #6

    kat

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    I think it's fairly safe to say that article 13 is ambiguous enough to make that claim highly debatable.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2003 #7

    FZ+

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    Protected from public curiosity seems deeply unambiguous to me. Perhaps you might like to de-clarify this point?:wink:
     
  9. Aug 14, 2003 #8

    kat

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    A snippet from an article at "findlaws" site shows at the very least that there is debate within legal circles and that it certainly is not seen as "unambiguous".
    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20030326_dworkin.html
     
  10. Aug 15, 2003 #9

    jb

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    they also showed pictures of saddam's bloody boys on tv, who i might add look nothing like them, i don't know enough about international law to know how that fits in to the geneva.

    and i seem to recall bush blackmailing belgium (i think) into dismissing war crimes charges (he threatened to move nato headquarters out of that country, which is bullsh!t, also it got no attention besides a 3 sentence clip in my local newspaper)

    and the iraqis have no rights, because we're bringing democracy to them.

    with more people getting upset about loss of life in iraq, does anybody remember when some of us opposed it in the beginning?
     
  11. Aug 15, 2003 #10
    if POWs are displayed in a public forum s/a on T.V. or in print media, their identities become public knowledge therefore the families are susceptible to intimidation, torture, execution, etc. That's why we make such a big noise about it when it happens to us. Not so big a noise when its some other guy.
     
  12. Aug 15, 2003 #11

    FZ+

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    But to grab another point: Russ, do you consider Iraq to be an ongoing war now, or do you consider other legislation to have taken over, such as the UN agreements on human rights, now that the war is "over"? Either case, I can provide other examples as you asked for.
     
  13. Aug 15, 2003 #12
    I've yet to see Americans (the government of America, to be more precise...) respecting someone's rights or freedom, unless that someone is more powerful or can pay.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2003
  14. Aug 15, 2003 #13

    russ_watters

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    Not really sure why "other legislation" wouldn't apply during war (guess it depends on the specific legislation) but in any case, I'll take any examples you can give.
     
  15. Aug 16, 2003 #14

    FZ+

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    Ok, From Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Article 21 Part 1

    The US has already denied that Baathist part representatives or proponents of theocratic governments be allowed as options in a future vote on the Iraqi government - hence it has denied those people representation as required by the universal declaration.

    By implication, the US is also in breach of article 30.

    Also, hundreds of Iraqi civilians reported to be imprisoned without charge or trial(in conditions that are reported to be very poor) without charge, including children.
    eg. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1019155,00.html

    This is in breach of article 10 and 11(part 1).

    Specific cases also breach article 9 and 11 part 2:

    [QUOTENo one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    ]No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.[/QUOTE]

    The granting of legal immunity to US companies also breaches articles 2 and 7.

    More later.
     
  16. Aug 16, 2003 #15

    russ_watters

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    Anyone except criminals of course. Like the Nazi party after WWII, the Baath party can most certainly be excluded from government. As for proponents of theocratic governments, Iraq will become a democracy. At that time, theocratic elements may very well be voted into power. Please remember that the government isn't finished being set up yet. Its tough to argue that composition of government articles even apply until then. They certainly do not apply to the interim government.
    You asked before whether there was still a war going on. To me thats a question of semantics, but the country is still (clearly) in a state of martial law and will remain so until we get the government set up. That one doesn't apply.

    As far as the legal immunity to US countries goes, I still have yet to see an analysis from a credible legal source. But I'm not sure about it. I do think it is reasonable for some protection to be given to the compaines.

    FZ+, you're reaching here. The violations you cited would apply if we made the current status of Iraq permanent. They most certainly do not apply to a transitional phase. The reconstruction of Germany and Japan are good examples to compare it to.

    I guess now I do understand what you mean by "other legislation" - an independent, funcioning government. Clearly this does not exist. Iraq is in what I would call a transitional state between war and an independent government.
     
  17. Aug 16, 2003 #16

    jcsd

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    Showing picture of dead bodies on TV doesn't violate any of the Geneva Conventions as the parts governing them merely make provisos for burial arrangments and contacting the families.

    Whether or not showing POWs is against the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War is debatable, it's more a sign of Bush et al's hypocrisy over the standards that they think should apply to US troops vs the standards that they think should apply to foreign troops.
     
  18. Aug 16, 2003 #17

    jcsd

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    No the 4th Geneva Convention applies always when a country or countries are occupying another.
     
  19. Aug 16, 2003 #18

    russ_watters

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    I wasn't referring to the Geneva convention. FZ+ cited other international law.
     
  20. Aug 16, 2003 #19

    jcsd

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    Well, As you can see from FZ's post the universal declaration applies universally without exception, under humanitarian law you cannot suspend inviolable huamn rights when it suits you.
     
  21. Aug 16, 2003 #20

    kat

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    This is not entirely true, it does not apply "without exception" the exception is always that if the implementation of the universal declaration threatens more basic human rights, such as security, life, hunger..etc. then the more basic human rights are upheld primarily.

    I think much of FZ's complaints were taken care of in May when the United Nations Security Council gave the US and Britain authority to administer Iraq. Even more so when the interim government's legitimacy was recognized br the United Nations resolution that called for the formation of an interim administration under the American-British occupation.
     
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