Sunday, July 02, 2006

Amnesty International on Gilad Shalit

Amnesty has issued a statement on the abduction of Gilad Shalit:
Corporal Gilad Shalit was abducted in the early morning of 25 June by Palestinian gunmen in an attack on an army base on the Israeli side of the fence which separates the Gaza Strip from Israel. Two other Israeli soldiers were killed and a third wounded in the attack.

Hostage taking, that is threatening to harm or continue to detain a detained person in order to compel a third party to do or abstain from doing something as a condition for their release, is expressly prohibited under international law. Such practice threatens the fundamental right to life, personal integrity and liberty, and is expressly prohibited by international humanitarian law. Under no circumstances is the taking of hostages justifiable.

Armed groups have an international legal obligation to respect the principles of international humanitarian law, including Article 3 common to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which reflects customary international law, and which prohibits the taking of hostages, murder and cruel treatment and torture. Amnesty International calls on the armed groups holding Corporal Gilad Shalit to comply with these principles.
Indeed. All governments and extra-governmental bodies should respect the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949. That would be a G-O-O-D thing.

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