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Illegala kombattanter- Guantánamo Bay fångarnas legala status enligt internationell humanitär rätt

Sioutas, Aspasia LU (2015) JUR092 20151
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Den 7 januari 2002 tillkännagav Vita huset att både Al-Qaida- och Talibanmedlemmar som tillfångatagits under konflikten i Afghanistan och fängslats på den amerikanska militärbasen på Guantánamo Bay på Kuba, inte hade rätt till krigsfångestatus utan ansågs vara "illegala kombattanter”.

Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka vilken legal status dessa Guantánamofångar bör ha. Borde de ha tillerkänts krigsfångestatus och andra rättigheter i enlighet med Internationell Humanitär Rätt (IHR) och i enlighet med Mänskliga Rättigheter (MR)?

Dessa fångar greps under konflikten i Afghanistan och ska därmed skyddas av regleringen som IHR ger under internationella väpnade konflikter. Men den förra amerikanska regeringen hävdade den 11 januari... (More)
Den 7 januari 2002 tillkännagav Vita huset att både Al-Qaida- och Talibanmedlemmar som tillfångatagits under konflikten i Afghanistan och fängslats på den amerikanska militärbasen på Guantánamo Bay på Kuba, inte hade rätt till krigsfångestatus utan ansågs vara "illegala kombattanter”.

Syftet med denna uppsats är att undersöka vilken legal status dessa Guantánamofångar bör ha. Borde de ha tillerkänts krigsfångestatus och andra rättigheter i enlighet med Internationell Humanitär Rätt (IHR) och i enlighet med Mänskliga Rättigheter (MR)?

Dessa fångar greps under konflikten i Afghanistan och ska därmed skyddas av regleringen som IHR ger under internationella väpnade konflikter. Men den förra amerikanska regeringen hävdade den 11 januari 2002 att de ”illegala kombattanterna” utgjorde en ny tredje personkategori som undantas från IHRs skydd och omfattas därför inte heller av några minimirättigheter. USA:s argument för att neka fångarna deras legala rättigheter enligt IHR kommer också att tas upp i denna analys.

I denna uppsats konstateras att det inte existerar något ”svart hål” i IHR rörande de illegala kombattanterna, och att det inte heller existerar något mellanliggande status inom IHRs personkategorier. De illegala kombattanterna skall därmed beviljas krigsfångestatus enligt den III Genèvekonventionen eller alternativt behandlas som civila och därmed skyddas av den IV Genèvekonventionen.

Studien undersöker även den gällande reglering för kombattantstatus och för krigsfångestatus, samt redovisar en analys rörande skillnaden mellan ”lagliga” och illegala kombattanter inom folkrätten. Uppsatsen ger även en noggrann genomgång av de kumulativa kriterierna som uppställs i III Genèvekonventionen för irreguljära trupper. Dessa kriterier måste uppfyllas för att krigsfångestatus ska ges.

I denna studie görs även gällande att Talibanerna som tillfångatogs i Afghanistan och sitter fängslade på Guantánamo Bay måste förutsättas vara lagliga kombattanter, eftersom att de borde anses som reguljära trupper tillhörande en stat som är part till Genèvekonventionen, och därmed skall de också betraktas som krigsfångar. Den amerikanska regeringens vägran att tillkännagiva dem krigsfångestatus är ett brott mot artikel 5 i III Genèvekonventionen. Om tveksamheter föreligger om huruvida krigsfångestatus ska erhållas så ska frågan avgöras av en ”behörig domstol”, och krigsfångestatus ska erhållas fram tills dess att frågan avgjorts. Vad avser de berörda Al Qaidamedlemmar som är fängslade på Guantánamo och är kategoriserade som illegala kombattanter, så visar regelverket enligt uppsatsen att de är att betrakta som civila och ska därmed åtnjuta det skydd som III Genèvekonventionen erhåller.

Oavsett hur man väljer att kategorisera de illegala kombattanterna, så finns det minimirättigheter som ska ge skydd till den som befunnit sig i strid och tillfångatagits och som av någon anledning inte anses omfattas av regleringen för kombattanter eller för civila (d.v.s. III Genèvekonventionen eller IV Genèvekonventionen). Dessa minimirättigheter utgörs av den gemensamma artikel 3 i de fyra Genèvekonventionerna och den sedvanerättsliga regeln som motsvarar artikel 75 i 1977 års Tilläggsprotokoll till Genèvekonventionerna samt regler om mänskliga rättigheter. Denna uppsats kommer att visa att den amerikanska hanteringen av Guantánamo fångarna är i strid med deras förpliktelser enligt folkrätten.

Slutligen ger jag en kortfattad analys av den nationella amerikanska lagstiftning som skapades under president Bushs regim för att hantera kriget mot terrorismen och de illegala kombattanterna. Analysen görs i syftet att se huruvida lagstiftning är i överensstämmelse med IHR, vilket fastställs i uppsatsen att så är inte fallet och att den äventyrar fångarnas rättigheter. Uppsatsen visar också att samma slutsats dras av den amerikanska Högsta domstolen (HD) i dess utslag i rättsfall rörande dessa instiftade lagar och fångars rättigheter. HD anser att dessa lagar och den medföljande hanteringen av fångarna inte var förenliga med vare sig internationell rätt eller USA:s nationella rätt. (Less)
Abstract
On the 7th of January 2002 the White house announced that the Al Qaida and the Taliban members, that were captured during the conflict in Afghanistan and brought to the US Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, were not entitled to Prisoner of War (POW) status. They were rather to be considered as “unlawful combatants”.

This thesis aims to explore the status of the Guantánamo Bay detainees. It will answer the questions whether the detainees are entitled to POW status and what rights they have according to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and also briefly according to Human Rights Law (HRL). These prisoners are to be protected by IHL as it applies to international armed conflicts. However, on the 1st of February 2002 the former US... (More)
On the 7th of January 2002 the White house announced that the Al Qaida and the Taliban members, that were captured during the conflict in Afghanistan and brought to the US Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, were not entitled to Prisoner of War (POW) status. They were rather to be considered as “unlawful combatants”.

This thesis aims to explore the status of the Guantánamo Bay detainees. It will answer the questions whether the detainees are entitled to POW status and what rights they have according to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and also briefly according to Human Rights Law (HRL). These prisoners are to be protected by IHL as it applies to international armed conflicts. However, on the 1st of February 2002 the former US government claimed that the unlawful combatants constitute an autonomous category of persons that are excluded from international protection as POWs or covered by fundamental humanitarian standards. The reasons advanced by the US government in order to deny the prisoners their legal rights according to IHL will also be discussed. In this paper it will be argued that there exists no black hole in IHL regarding the unlawful combatants, and there is no intermediate status under IHL. Therefore the unlawful combatant shall be accorded POW status according to the Third Geneva Convention (GC 3) containing rules on POWs, or alternatively be treated as civilians and thus be protected by the Fourth Geneva Convention on Civilian Persons (GC 4).

This thesis also examines the legal distinction between lawful and unlawful combatants in customary and conventional international law. A review regarding the rules applicable to combatant status and entitlement to POW status is made in this paper, and it will also closely examine the cumulative conditions in the GC 3 which irregular combatants must comply with in order to qualify for POW status. Further in this thesis it is contended that the Taliban members at Guantánamo Bay must be presumed to be lawful combatants and therefore be granted POW status. According to article 5 of GC 3 POW status shall be granted until a “competent Tribunal” has made the final determination, but the USA did not follow the procedure regulated in the article. Regarding the Al Qaida members that were imprisoned at Guantánamo and also labeled as unlawful combatants, this thesis will show that they are to be considered as civilians and shall thus enjoy the protection provided by the GC 3. In any case, unlawful combatants captured in the battlefield that are not protected by GC 3 or GC 4, continue to be protected by the common article 3 to the Four GCs and the customary rule corresponding to article 75 of the 1977 First Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention (AP1) as well as human rights rules. This paper will demonstrate that the US handling with the Guantánamo detainees is in violation with their obligations according to IHL.

Finally this thesis will briefly analyze the national US legislation regarding the “war on terrorism” and the unlawful combatants that was incorporated by the Bush government. This analysis is made in order to see if this legislation is in accordance with IHL, which it will show that it is not, since the rights of the prisoners are being violated. A short summery is also presented in this paper regarding some of the important Supreme Court rulings regarding the new legislations mentioned and the rights of Guantánamo Bay prisoners. These Supreme Court rulings show that these implemented laws and the treatment of the Guantánamo Bay prisoners are unconstitutional according to US national law and that they also breach IHL. (Less)
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author
Sioutas, Aspasia LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Unlawful combatants- The legal status of the Guantánamo Bay prisoners according to international humanitarian law
course
JUR092 20151
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
folkrätt, illegala, kombattanter
language
Swedish
id
5472550
date added to LUP
2015-06-11 20:42:02
date last changed
2015-06-11 20:42:02
@misc{5472550,
  abstract     = {On the 7th of January 2002 the White house announced that the Al Qaida and the Taliban members, that were captured during the conflict in Afghanistan and brought to the US Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, were not entitled to Prisoner of War (POW) status. They were rather to be considered as “unlawful combatants”. 

This thesis aims to explore the status of the Guantánamo Bay detainees. It will answer the questions whether the detainees are entitled to POW status and what rights they have according to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and also briefly according to Human Rights Law (HRL). These prisoners are to be protected by IHL as it applies to international armed conflicts. However, on the 1st of February 2002 the former US government claimed that the unlawful combatants constitute an autonomous category of persons that are excluded from international protection as POWs or covered by fundamental humanitarian standards. The reasons advanced by the US government in order to deny the prisoners their legal rights according to IHL will also be discussed. In this paper it will be argued that there exists no black hole in IHL regarding the unlawful combatants, and there is no intermediate status under IHL. Therefore the unlawful combatant shall be accorded POW status according to the Third Geneva Convention (GC 3) containing rules on POWs, or alternatively be treated as civilians and thus be protected by the Fourth Geneva Convention on Civilian Persons (GC 4). 

This thesis also examines the legal distinction between lawful and unlawful combatants in customary and conventional international law. A review regarding the rules applicable to combatant status and entitlement to POW status is made in this paper, and it will also closely examine the cumulative conditions in the GC 3 which irregular combatants must comply with in order to qualify for POW status. Further in this thesis it is contended that the Taliban members at Guantánamo Bay must be presumed to be lawful combatants and therefore be granted POW status. According to article 5 of GC 3 POW status shall be granted until a “competent Tribunal” has made the final determination, but the USA did not follow the procedure regulated in the article. Regarding the Al Qaida members that were imprisoned at Guantánamo and also labeled as unlawful combatants, this thesis will show that they are to be considered as civilians and shall thus enjoy the protection provided by the GC 3. In any case, unlawful combatants captured in the battlefield that are not protected by GC 3 or GC 4, continue to be protected by the common article 3 to the Four GCs and the customary rule corresponding to article 75 of the 1977 First Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention (AP1) as well as human rights rules. This paper will demonstrate that the US handling with the Guantánamo detainees is in violation with their obligations according to IHL.

Finally this thesis will briefly analyze the national US legislation regarding the “war on terrorism” and the unlawful combatants that was incorporated by the Bush government. This analysis is made in order to see if this legislation is in accordance with IHL, which it will show that it is not, since the rights of the prisoners are being violated. A short summery is also presented in this paper regarding some of the important Supreme Court rulings regarding the new legislations mentioned and the rights of Guantánamo Bay prisoners. These Supreme Court rulings show that these implemented laws and the treatment of the Guantánamo Bay prisoners are unconstitutional according to US national law and that they also breach IHL.},
  author       = {Sioutas, Aspasia},
  keyword      = {folkrätt,illegala,kombattanter},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Illegala kombattanter- Guantánamo Bay fångarnas legala status enligt internationell humanitär rätt},
  year         = {2015},
}