Saturday, March 29, 2003

A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to a dictatorship of the right or the left.
-- Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas - (1954)

Crime & Punishment Guide to the Geneva Conventions

Now that the United States and Iraq are accusing each other of violating the Geneva Conventions in the handling of prisoners of war, journalists should familiarize themselves with the international humanitarian standards. The full texts are available online in many places, but they are long and complicated, particularly for journalists on deadline. So be sure to check out a fantastic new guide the Society of Professional Journalists launched online this week.
A Journalist's Guide to the Geneva Conventions includes a history of the Geneva Conventions
and the full texts of the Conventions.
But the part journalists will likely find most useful is the easy-to-use alphabetical reference guide. You can use this to find out what the Geneva Conventions say about everything from access to grave sites to wounded prisoners of war.
The best part is that the entries are conveniently linked to the part of the convention that addresses the topic, so you can easily look up even more detailed information if you need it.
You can find the guide, written by former war correspondent Maria Trombly, for free online at
· Maria Trombly [Hitlers & Husaks of 21st century]