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Warriors Without Rights? Combatants, Unprivileged Belligerents, and the Struggle Over Legitimacy | Harvard - Kenneth Watkin | (2005)

Acting on behalf of a state has constituted the primary means of attaining combatant, and therefore legitimate, status. As a result, a significant number of participants in warfare do not meet the established criteria and are, consequently, considered `illegitimate' or `unlawful.' This includes those fighting in international armed conflict as well as groups engaged in armed conflict not of an international character. The uncertain status of these `illegitimate' warriors is evidenced by the variety of terms used to describe them. The traditional dual privileged status approach of dividing a population into combatants and civilians is only as effective as the accuracy with which the definition of `combatant' is established and to the extent there is a clear understanding of when civilians lose the protection of their status by participating in hostilities.

Recently, the question of combatancy and the protection of captured enemy personnel has gained prominence due to the decision of the United States government in 2002 to deny prisoner of war status to the Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. Similarly, there is considerable controversy as to the standard of treatment to be applied to captured unlawful combatants. Historically, a consistent result of being determined to be an unauthorized participant in hostilities has been harsh treatment at the hands of the captor. Questions are asked whether civilian participants in combat are a type of `illegal' combatant, fall under civilian status, or merit their own status under international humanitarian law. The idea of an intermediate status is rejected by many analysts.

IHL: Unprivileged Belligerent

British soldier of fortune Aiden Aslin surrenders to Russia forces in Mariupol ...

"Johnny" had tried to defend Mariupol but had no choice but to surrender to Russian forces | Sky News |

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Notts man speaks of his arrest by police after fighting against IS | Notts News - Apr 5, 2016 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 12th, 2022 at 04:07:21 PM EST

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