War prisoner scheme defied global law

Confidential Defence documents reveal that Australia’s policies on handling captives in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 to 2003 were so contrived they ran the risk of being neither ethical nor in line with international law, today’s Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The risk was starkly outlined in a top secret memo from the then chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, to the then defence minister, Robert Hill, in February 2002, which warned that the prisoner ”arrangement may not fully satisfy Australia’s legal obligations and in any event will not be viewed as promising a respect for the rule of law”.

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Photo: Simon Dyer, SMH

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