Enemy Prisoner of War

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The term Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) is currently being used in place of the term Prisoner of War (POW). [1]

According to the Geneva Conventions:

Combatants who do fall within the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions enjoy the following protections:

  • Prisoners of war must be treated humanely. Specifically, prisoners must not be subject to torture or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind. They must also be protected against violence, intimidation, insults and public curiosity. The public display of POWs is also prohibited.
  • When questioned -- in the prisoner's native language -- prisoners of war must only give their names, ranks, birth dates and serial numbers. Prisoners who refuse to answer may not be threatened or mistreated.
  • Prisoners of war must be immediately evacuated away from a combat zone and must not be unnecessarily exposed to danger. They may not be used as human shields.
  • Finally, and most importantly, prisoners of war may not be punished for the acts they committed during the fighting unless the opposing side would have punished its own soldiers for those acts as well.

Source: Society of Professional Journalists.


Army Regulation 190-8. Military Police Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained Personnel, Civilian Internees and Other Detainees.

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