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In ancient times prisoners of war were usually treated without mercy With Greeks for example it was common practice to kill the whole adult male population of a conquered state The ancient Britons also killed their prisoners in a screwed up way The Ottoman Turks executed 30000 Christian prisoners during the War of Candia In Western Europe however as chivalry spread in late medieval times and the practice of sparing and ransoming prisoners was startedOver one hundred thousand people died during the Civil War Not in battle but in the prison camps Looking for shreds of clothing and crumbs of food was an everyday experience Eating spoiled meat and contaminated water was common place America now knew that prisoner treatment would now need to be standardizedAlthough America knew in the beginning of the war that prisoner treatment would need to be standardized it wasnt until 1906 that the problem was finally addressed It wasnt for forty-one years until a board finally looked upon the issuesThis agreement was designed to provide for minimal human rights in time of war such as the protection of military medical personnel and for the humane treatment of the wounded It was later supplemented by a Prisoner of War Convention Although frequently ignored in military operations this documents remains an important legal document which for the first time ever sets out standards of human decency during warThe term prisoner of war or POW is thrown around and misused quite often but the actual definition is incarcerated members of the armed forces of an enemy or noncombatants who render them direct service and who have been captured during wartime POWs do not include medical officials the press a member of the Red Cross or civilians Members of these groups are granted untouchable If a member of one of these groups are captured it is a punishable offence pending trialA prisoner of war may not be treated as a criminal but may be
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