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U.S. Issues Shift On Prisoner Treatment --> U.S. guards and prisoner at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (file photo) (epa) September 6, 2006 -- The Pentagon today issued a new policy statement explicitly requiring U.S. military staff to respect the Geneva Conventions' standards for treatment of prisoners.

Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Cully Stimson explained the new directive at the Pentagon.

"The directive describes the core policies that this department
believes are critical in ensuring that all detainees are treated
humanely and that the laws pertaining to detainee care and treatment
are implemented," Stimson said. "It incorporates the prohibitions
against cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment [in] the
Detainee Treatment Act and articulates, for the first time in
[Department of Defense] history, a minimum standard for the care and
treatment of all detainees."

A statement said it is Defense Department policy to treat all detainees
humanely and in accordance with U.S. law, the law of war, and
applicable U.S. policy.

It says, "All persons subject to this directive shall observe the
requirements of the law of war, and shall apply, without regard to a
detainee's legal status, at a minimum the standards articulated in
Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949."