Goldie Taylor Doubles Down On Calling Taliban Desecration ‘A Criminal Act,’ Cites Geneva Convention
Political commentator Goldie Taylor appeared on CNN Newsroom Sunday evening to respond to Texas Governor Rick Perry‘s comments, in which he deemed calls for the bringing of criminal charges against of the Marines urinating on the bodies of slain Taliban as, “over-the-top.”
“It is a criminal act. There is no question about that,” Taylor proclaimed. “Geneva Convention, you know, from the code of military justice — it was a criminal act. There is just no question about that. Was it a stupid mistake on behalf of four Marines? Absolutely. Does it have security implications? Absolutely.”
Taylor’s comments — that the Marines’ actions were in violation of international law — are explicitly backed up by the text of the Geneva Convention and other international law guidelines.
According to the Red Cross’ case study on international humanitarian law:
The obligation to take all possible measures to prevent the dead from being despoiled (or pillaged) was first codified in the 1907 Hague Convention. It is now also codified in the Geneva Conventions.
It is also contained in Additional Protocol I, albeit in more general terms of “respecting” the dead, which includes the notion of preventing the remains from being despoiled.
The obligation to take all possible measures to prevent the dead from being despoiled or the prohibition of the despoliation of the dead is set forth in numerous military manuals. The despoliation of dead bodies is an offence under the legislation of many States. In the Pohl case in 1947, the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg stated that robbing the dead “is and always has been a crime”. In addition, the prohibition of despoliation of dead bodies is an application of the general prohibition of pillage (see Rule 52).
The prohibition of mutilating dead bodies in international armed conflicts is covered by the war crime of “committing outrages upon personal dignity” under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, which according to the Elements of Crimes also applies to dead persons.
Watch a clip of Taylor disagree with Perry’s views below, courtesy of CNN:
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