Sickening story from Guantánamo
Salon has the latest.
The forgotten kid of Guantánamo
A teenager captured in Afghanistan and shipped to the U.S. prison remained unknown to the world for five years. Now he's being tried as an adult.
It's the story of Mohammed Jawad, who is being tried at the moment. He was picked up while a juvenile, and have been kept prisoner ever since. Now he is facing trial as an adult, after having spent the last five years in Guantánamo. No one had heard about his existence, before now.
As so many others in Guantánamo, Mohammed Jawad has been declared an "unlawful enemy combatant", however the article makes clear that he was part of a militia, and should accordingly be a proper prisoner of war according to Geneva Conventions III, article 4. If the US wants to claim otherwise, Jawad should have been tried when captured, as stated in article 5:
Art 5. The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.
Alternatively, Jawad should have been considered a criminal, and tried as such in Afghanistan - until this happens, he should be treated according to Geneva Conventions IV
Of all evil things that Bush and co. have done, I can think on none worse than creating the category "unlawful enemy combatant", claiming them outside the protection of the conventions. I have no doubt that this will come back and haunt us all.