Conscience Prisoners & Geneva Conventions

by Azam Saeed

Given that the country is under the control of anti-Republic military forces in cahoots with external powers, it would be highly reasonable to call the country a de facto occupied territory.

And if an actual armed conflict begins, which now seems somewhat likely, then the side resisting the occupation should seriously consider invoking the Geneva Conventions since that law applies to, inter alia, an “armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties…”

(Remember, this can no longer be called a situation of law and order subject to national laws since the Syndicate has already thrown the country’s Constitution into the dustbin. We are really dealing with an occupation here. Any discussion of law is essentially either deceptive or delusional.)

I hope an armed struggle (“surgery to dislodge the nation’s cancer”) is not needed. And that the Syndicate Managers (pushing the country into more and more darkness) are able to see the light. And that, some day, this nightmare will be miraculously over without more bloodshed than what the Syndicate has already spilled.

Regardless, this post has to do with the situation of countless (possibly tens of thousands) Prisoners of Conscience in Pakistan. The Geneva Conventions are referenced simply to clarify understanding.

With close to a hundred and fifty articles spread over several sections and parts, the Convention’s treatise covering the “Treatment of Prisoners of War” is a comprehensive document.

As the Convention stipulates: “Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited … [prisoners] must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and … measures of reprisal.”

Further prohibitions include “taking of hostages” and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.” Grave breaches of the Convention include “torture or inhuman treatment” and the wilful deprivation “of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in this Convention.”

The Syndicate is in an open war against the nation. And has engaged in abominations against prisoners of conscience that would not be allowed against prisoners of war.

If even a speck of such treatment happened to prisoners of war, our Brave Ones would be hauled away to face some international tribunal. Yet, atrocities are being committed day in and day out — against innocent men, innocent women, and even children.

And what a disgrace to the nation these Uniformed Desperadoes have proven to be. They are treating individuals who held high public office — Senators, Ministers, even the former Prime Minister — in shamefully inhumane conditions, clearly including mental torture (if not outright physical torture).

The gang of predators that controls the country clearly needs to be dislodged at the earliest.

Frustration of the public has turned into anger. Anger has transformed into hatred. And hatred becomes a destructive emotion when it drives a violent conflict.

I have found myself reasoning with those who believe that, when the time comes, the leadership of the Syndicate and their accessories should just be summarily executed. The logic usually cites the heinousness of their crimes, and that the agents of occupation have even destroyed the justice system in the country.

With every passing day, it becomes more and more difficult to counter that reasoning. Time may well lead people to choose this approach in dealing with the cancer created by these morality-defying militarists.





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