WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 - Human rights experts said Friday that American soldiers might have committed a war crime on Thursday when they sent fleeing Iraqi civilians back into Falluja.
Citing several articles of the Geneva Conventions, the experts said recognized laws of war require military forces to protect civilians as refugees and forbid returning them to a combat zone.
A stream of refugees, about 300 men, women and children, were detained by American soldiers as they left southern Falluja by car and on foot. The women and children were allowed to proceed. The men were tested for any residues left by the handling of explosives. All tested negative, but they were sent back.
Because the United States has refused to take part in the International Criminal Court, it is unclear whether American troops could be held accountable.
[As if seizing and bombing hospitals wasn't enough. I think the real issue, though, is holding W and Rumsfeld liable for war crimes.]