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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Prisoners of War: Vietnam During the Vietnam War,about 760 American soldierswere taken captive by both North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. The North Vietnameseand Viet Cong's brutal treatment towards U.S. soldiers, particularly before 1970, violated the minimum requirements of the Geneva convention of 1949. In the North Vietnamese jails, American soldiers could expect beatings, torture, severe deprivation denial of medical treatment, prolonged isolation and forced confessions. The Geneva convention of 1949 called for the decentand humane treatment of prisoners of war. These termsdid not apply in Vietnamhowever. Since war was never declared,the North Vietnamese government was able to justify this maltreatment of U.S. soldiers. They would be treated as criminalsand international gangsters. Our allies, the South Vietnamese, killedover 4,000 Viet Cong prisoners throughmaltreatment. To many American soldiers,murders and other acts of violencewere considered "standard procedure". "The Commanding General U.S. Army Vietnam was responsible for receipt, evacuation accountability, transfer, andoverall treatment of prisoners captured by U.S. armed forces."-The Select Committee of Missing Persons in Southeast Asia United States House of Representatives "The Vietnamese wereaccused of brutally torturingtheir captives-- beating themwith fists, clubs, and rifle butts, flaying them with rubber whips, and stretching their joints in an effort to uncover American military operations."-PBS According to the Select Committeeof Missing Persons in Southeast Asia, "Camps were generally operated in accordance with the requirements of the Geneva Conventions, with emphasis placed on humane treatment and reporting names of POW's to the international committee of the Red cross. Until transfer o a government of Vietnam POW camp, Viet Cong and N. Vietnamese captives were under supervision of U.S. forces.Most U.S. camps were operated in accordance with international law and were verified by frequent inspections by the ICRC. "Altogether, 591 U.S. POWSwere released to American authorities from Feb. to April 1973 in Operation Homecoming. A total of 144 POWS are known to have died in captivity."-Jeff T. Hay Conditions and treatment were particularly harsh in South Vietnamese camps: Starvation, disease, brutal interrogation, and frequent forced movement contributed to a death rate of 20 percent, compared with 5 percent in North Vietnamese camps.-Charles Zappia Tarenne JohnstonPeriod 2 1/9/12 There were individual instances ofmisconduct in the U.S. camps. Army Criminal Ivestigation Division had reports revealing POW maltreatment in forward combat areas during the heat of combat. In some remote locations such as Con Son Island POWs were kept in tiger cages. These incidents were against U.S. policy andviolated the Geneva conventionsand international law. Above: Americans talk to a captured Viet Cong soldier.Right: A South Vietnamese soldier tries to get information from aNorth Vietnamese POW with threatening techniques. Left: A captured American soldier being led by N. Vietnamese forces to the unknown.Right:American POWs held in captivity. Treatment towards U.S. Troops Treatment towards North Vietnamese Troops
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