U.S. Treatment of Prisoners in Iraq: Selected Legal Issues [Updated October 4, 2004] [open pdf - 135KB]
From the Summary: "The international law of armed conflict, in particular, those parts relating to belligerent occupation, applies in Iraq. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 related to the treatment of prisoners of war (POW) and civilian detainees, as well as the Hague Regulations define the status of detainees and state responsibility for their treatment. Other international law relevant to human rights and to the treatment of prisoners may also apply. For example, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits 'cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.' The U.N. Declaration on Human Rights and the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT) may also be relevant. Federal statutes that implement the relevant international law, such as the War Crimes Act of 1996 and the Torture Victim Protection Act, as well as other criminal statutes with extraterritorial application may also come into play. Finally, the law of Iraq as amended by regulations issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) may also apply in some circumstances. This report summarizes pertinent provisions of the Geneva Conventions Relative to the Treatment of Victims of War (Geneva Conventions) and other international agreements concerning the treatment of certain types of prisoners. The report begins with a discussion of international and U.S. standards regarding the treatment of prisoners. This report will be updated."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32395