How Pakistan clearly violated Article 13 of Geneva Convention
New Delhi, Feb 28: Pakistan has violated norms of the Geneva Convention by releasing a video of the Indian Air Force pilot, who is in their custody.
Releasing the video is in clear violation as spelt out in Article 13, which offers protection to prisoners. Article 13 prohibits the release of the video.
The experts say that the intention to first release the video was only done with an intention to humiliate. There was no need for Pakistan to release the video and India could have been informed through the official channels about the capture of the pilot.
The Geneva Convention makes it clear that no photographs of prisoners will be released.
It further states that the prisoner shall not be put to embarrassment or be humiliated.
Pakistan, it may be recalled had released videos of the captured IAF pilot, Abhinandan Varthaman. After first releasing a video of the pilot blindfolded and spelling out his name and service number, another video of him sipping tea was released. In that video, he says that he is being treated with dignity. However after severe condemnation, the video was deleted by both the Pakistan military spokesperson and the information ministry.
Pakistan which had initially claimed that it had two pilots in its custody, later said that there is only one. "There is only one pilot under Pakistan Army's custody. Wing Comd Abhi Nandan is being treated as per norms of military ethics," Pakistani military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter.
The rules protecting prisoners of war (POWs) are specific. They were first detailed in the 1929 Geneva Convention and later amended in the third 1949 Geneva Convention following the lessons of World War II.
According to the rules, the status of POW only applies in international armed conflict.
"POWs are usually members of the armed forces of one of the parties to a conflict who fall into the hands of the adverse party," the Convention states.
It says POWs cannot be prosecuted for taking a direct part in hostilities.
"Their detention is not a form of punishment, but only aims to prevent further participation in the conflict. They must be released and repatriated without delay after the end of hostilities. The detaining power may prosecute them for possible war crimes, but not for acts of violence that are lawful under International Humantarian Law," it says.
The rules specify that POWs must be treated humanely in all circumstances.
"They are protected against any act of violence, as well as against intimidation, insults, and public curiosity," the Geneva Convention states.