The French army and the Geneva Conventions during the Algerian war of independence and after
Do the Geneva Conventions matter ?
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2017
France considered Algerian War of Independence an internal matter, and questioned the relevance of the Geneva Conventions. The International Committee of the Red Cross managed to get permits to visit the prisons and camps in Algeria where not only detainees but also mere suspects were held. The French military took Common Article Three into account, although the status of prisoner of war (POW) was never granted to anyone detained in any military or civil premises. To acknowledge the existence of POWs was to acknowledge that a war existed in Algeria. The National Liberation Front (FLN) fought hard to impose this reality on the French. Indeed, as the prospect of peace arose, the conditions of detention of some prisoners did improve. The chapter ends by exploring the legacies of the Algerian war on the Geneva Conventions and the French army.
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