Ukraine: concern over prisoners of war appearing at press conferences
Russian armored vehicles advance towards Donetsk in Ukraine on February 24 © Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Russian prisoners of war were featured at Ukrainian press conferences
Videos of Ukrainian prisoners held by Russian forces have also appeared on social media
The Third Geneva Convention specifies that prisoners of war must be protected from “insults and public curiosity”
Prisoners of war during the Russian invasion of Ukraine must have their rights guaranteed by the Third Geneva Convention, Amnesty International said today.
In recent days, Ukrainian authorities have brought Russian prisoners of war to press conferences to discuss their role in the military invasion, and videos on social media have also shown captured soldiers contacting family members in Russia.
Videos of captured Ukrainian soldiers have also appeared on social media, although it is not yet clear if they have an official sanction.
Joanne Mariner, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International, said:
“As the conflict continues, it is essential that all parties to the conflict fully respect the rights of prisoners of war.
“Any public appearance can endanger prisoners of war when they are returned to their country of origin, and also prove problematic for their families while in detention.
“Article 13 of the Third Geneva Convention explicitly states that prisoners of war must be protected at all times, especially from public curiosity.
“It is the duty of the detaining power to ensure that the rights of these prisoners are duly respected upon capture.
Among other things, Article 13 of the Third Geneva Convention specifies that “prisoners of war must be protected at all times, in particular against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity”. The authoritative commentary of the International Committee of the Red Cross explains that “any material which identifies individual detainees should normally be regarded as arousing the curiosity of the public and, therefore, may not be transmitted, published or disseminated”.
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