VIET CONG POLICY AND TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR

Created: 8/15/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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thu M INFORMATIONJiUt 'PNAILT PVALUATCOC S

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SOUTH VIETNAM

DOi ' EXCEPT A3 STATED subject VIET CONG.POLICY AND TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR

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SOURCE THIS OLLATION OF AVAILABLE INFORMATION ON THE

WHICH WAS PREPARED IN THE FIELDAS RESEARCH UNIT. IT IS NOT FULLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE.

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THE, VIET CONG /VC/ OFFICIALLYENIENT AND HUMANITARIAN POLICY TOWARD PRISONERS OF WAR /POWS/, BUT THIS POLICY IS NOT ALWAYS IMPLEMENTED. THE VC HAVE ISSUED NUMEROUS DIRECTIVES AND ORDERED ITS MILITARY. PROSELYTING SECTIONS TO HOLD SPECIAL CLASSES ON THE POLITICAL VALUE OF POWS AND HOW TO TREAT THEM. ALMOST ALL IMPORTANT POWS ARE TRANSFERRED TO THE PROVINCE OR REGION LEVEL. THOSE PRISONERS WHO ARE KEPT AT THE VILLAGE AND DISTRICT LEVEL ARE OFTEN RELEASED WITHIN TWO MONTHS WHEREAS THOSE AT 'IHE HIGHER LEVEL ARE HELD MUCH LONGER. THE RELEASE OF THE FREE WORLD MILITARY FORCES PRISONERSPECIAL PROBLEM SINCE IT MUST BE DONE AT THE REGIONAL OR CENTRAL LEVEL AND THEN IN CONNECTION WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PROPAGANDA COUP, BRUTALITY TO AND EXECUTION OF PRISONERS HAVE BEEN REPORTED BUT FOR POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY THE VC CONTINUE TOENIENT AND HUMANITARIAN POLICY. END SUMMARY

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CAPTUREDERIOD OF SEVERALTHE OFFICIAL VIET DOM /VC/ POLICY TOWARD PRISONERS OFAS ONE OF LENIENCY AND HUMANITARIANISMEXPEDIENCY. HOWEVER, IT IS ALSO CLEAR THAT

THEREAP OF SOME MAGNITUDE BETWEEN THE POLICY AND ITS APPLICATION. AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE POLICY, AFTER THE TET ATTACKS AND THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF POWS THE_VC.IN MY THO PROVINCEASIC DIRECTIVE ON POW POLICY WHICH EMPHASIZEDENIENT AND HUMANE POLICY CAN SPLIT THE ENEMY'S RANKS AND THAT?ARTICULARLY AMERICANS, CAN BE POLITICALLY EXPLOITED.

ARE NUMEROUS VC DIRECTIVES ADMONISHING SUBORDINATE

UNITS FOR NOT ADHERING TO THE POW POLICY AND ORDERING THE MILITARY PROSELYTING SECTIONS TO SET UP SPECIAL CLASSES TO CORRECT THIS SITUATION. SEVERAL DOCUMENTS ATTEST THATiIH MANY!REAS THE POLICY IS IGNORED MOST OF THE TIME. THE PARTY CONSTANTLY URGES THE CADRES TO EMPHASIZE/IN THEIR CLASSES THAT KILLING, BEATING AND TORTURINGR MUTILATING THE DEAD IS HARMFUL TO THE REVOLUTION. THE CADRES ARE TOLD TO MAKE THE POINT THAT IMPORTANT POWS CAN BE USED AS HOSTAGES ASSURING THE SAFETY OF CAPTURED VC AND THEIR RELEASE CAN WIN PROPAGANDA VICTORIES OF INTERNATIONAL IMPACT.

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^AND MAKEECEIPT AND PASS IT ALONG WITH THE POW.

INDIVIDUAL SOLDIERS TO CARRY OUT THIS

CAPTURED, THE POW IS HANDED OVER IO THE

5. COMBAT UNITS ARE REMINDED CONSTANTLY TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OFSPECIALLY AMERICANS. THEY ARE INSTRUCTEDSSUE ROPES"TO/EACH SOLDIER FOR_BINDiNO POWSV TO TEACH THE "TROOPS ENGLISH PHRASES SUCH AS "HAWS UP" AND TO TEACH SUCH TECHNIQUES AS REMOVING THE SHOES. POW8 .TO KINDER THEIR ESCAPE ATTEMPTS. ^FURTHER, THE SOLDIERS ARE TOLD NOT TO TAKE THE PERSONAL PROPERTY OF POWSBUT TO COLLECT IT ;

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or province authorities. if it has not already been

done. the pow will be placed in a category of which there appears

TO BE TWOHE FIRST IS BASED OH THE TYPE OF UNIT AND RANK. THE LESS ELITE HIS UNIT. THE TORE LIKELY THE POW WILL BE KEPT.OWER VC ECHELON,'GIVEN SHORTERND WORE LIKELY TO BE CONSIDEREDOTENTIAL RECRUIT FOR THEHE LOWER THE. RANK THE LESS IIME THE POW WILL BE HELD. THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR ALL .FREE WORLD MILITARY FORCES /FWMF^JINTELLIGENOE AND PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS PERSONNEL AND OTHER SPECIALIST GROUPS. ONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND OFFICERS USUALLY ARE SEPARATED IMMEDIATELY TO BREAK THEOF THE HIGHER RANKING TROOPS OVER THEIR JUNIORS. THE SECOND CATEGORY IS BASED ON THE INDIVIDUAL'S ACTIONS. THOSE WHO SURRENDER IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE BATTLE AND EXHIBIT LITTLE PERSONAL LOYALTY TO THE GOVERNMENT OFETSUCHO NOT HAVE TO BE BOUND BUT THEY HAVE TO ATTEND INDOCTRINATION SESSIONS. THE LEGITIMATE POW, IN THEORY,;IS TO RECEIVE LENIENT, HUMANE BUT FIRM TREATMENT, AND IF HE PROVES TO BE .OBSTINATE,"/

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OF TIME. IT IS COMMON FOR PRISONERS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO

SEVERALSUALLY, SOME WORK IS PERFORMED, CERTAIN HOLIDAYS ARE ALLOWED AND SOME MEDICAL FACILITIES EXIST.

THISSPECIALLY IMPORTANT IN THE CAfSE OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE BEEN LED BY THEIR COMMANDERS TO EXPECT INHUMANE TREATMENT. ALL MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND DOCUMENTS ARERISONERS HO DIE ARE OFTEN BURIED SECRETLY AND THEIR POSSESSIONS SENT TO . ', THE REAR. THIS PROCEDURE APPEARS TO BE FOLLOWED BECAUSE THE VC THINK IT WOULD BE POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT TO KEEP THESE DEAD MEN "ALIVE" FOR FUTURE RETALIATORY)

7. THE VC BOMBARD THE POWS TEADY

OFHE TYPICAL INDOCTRINATION IS TOPOWESSON AND THEN REPEAT IT IN

N> ADDITION, THE. VC USEAND HAVE THE POWERSONAL HISTORYVC HAVE SETLIDING SCALE OF WHAT THEY HOPEWITH THEIR INDOCTRINATION^ AT THE OPTIMUM/iTHEYENLIST THE POW INTO THE VC ARMED FORCES. NEXT BEST,LIKE HIMRK'lN SOME WAY FOR THE VCj7'| NEXT,

WOULD LIKE HIM TO RETURN HOME AND; ASSUME AN ANTlH*yKLHEY HOPE HE WILL AT LEAST STAY NEUTRAL. IF THE POW FAILS TO PASS HIS TESTs/jTHE CAMP AUTHORITIES USUALLY

URTHER TRAINING BUT NOT ANY PUNISHMENT SINCE THE

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GOAL IS REHABILITATION. AT THE VILLAGE AND DISTRICT LEVEL

THE PERIOD OF INDOCTRINATION RANGES FROM ONE WEEK TO TWO

MONTHS, AND THE PRISONER IS ALL BUT ASSURED OF BEING

RELEASED. THE INDOCTRINATION PERIOD IS LONGER FOR HIGHER LEVEL

PRISONERS, AjflD SOME PRISONERS MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO CONVINCE

THE VC THAT THEY HAVE REFORMED ENOUGH TO BE RELEASED. THE

FWMF PRISONERSROBLEM1 SINCE THEY USUALLY CAN'

ONLY BE RELEASED AT THE REGIONAL OR CENTRAL LEVEL AND THEN OVLYvRB 3

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S.^JJEW PRISONERS ARE USUALLY GIVEN -AI BOOKLET ABOUT POW REGULATIONS OR IT IS READ TO THEM. ACCORDING^ T0 THE DIR ECTIVES,

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IN CONNECTION WITH SOME INTERNATIONAL' PROPAGANDA COUP. _THE MORE QBSTTWATKPO'iS ARE QUIETLY EXECUTED.,

FEW POWS .'INCLUDING AN OCCAS IONALRANSFERRED TO SECURITY SECTIONS WHOSE DETENTION

CAMPS ARE GENERALLY OCCUPIED BY VCVN OFFICIALS ANDHE TREATMENT TENDS .TO BE HARSHER. THE EXECUTIONS MORE FREQUENT, AND TKE PHYSICAL RESTRAINTS MORE BRUTAL. SUCH AS. THE USE OF BLINDERS ANDf LEGTILL, THE ULTIMATE GOAL IN THESE CAMPS ALSO IS SUPPOSED TO BE REHABILITATION AND EVENTUALJR.ELEASE.

THE RELEASE OF POWSHE MY THOON POW POLICY STATED THAT POWS JMUST BE BOUNDTHE REVOLUTION SO THAT THEY WILL BE LOOKED UPON WITH SUSPICION

BY THE OTHER SIDE. THE DOCUMENT CONTINUES THAT BEFORE

RELEASE, THE POW MUST BE PROVOKED TO WRITE SOME KIND OF

.PLEDGE IN FAVOR; OF THE NATIONAL, FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF SOUTH VIETNAM AND MAKE COMMENTS ABOUT VC POLICIES AND THE TREATMENT AND' ATTITUDES OF THE LIBERATION TROOPS. EACH RELEASE SCENE IS TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED,

THERE ARE NO COMPLETE STATISTICS ONOF POW S RELEASED, SOME INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE;. IN

VC MILITARY REGION 5, THEREVN POWS REPORTED TO BE DETAINED OF THEERE RELEASED, ERE TRANSFERRED TO SECURITY SECTIONS,IED OF SICKNESSOLUNTEERED TO SERVE WITH VCETURNEE WHO CLASSIFIED POWS^.ARRIVING AT AN LINH VILLAGE, PHU YEN PROVINCE, STATEDN5 IN NOVEMBERN5 AND NONE OF POWS, ISOWERE SENT TO PROVINCE AND 25 WERE KEPTWO MONTH INDOCTRINATION AND RELEASED TO VC UNITS.

DOCUMENT COVERING THE FIRST HALF7 FOR SECURITY SECTION OF BINH TANI"SUBREGION REVEALED THAT OF

3 RISONERS, ONLY SEVEN WERE RELEASED, OWE DIED, ONE WAS ^tyfy **

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TRANSFERRED ANDERE EXECUTED. THE SECURITY SECTION OF THE WESTERNEGION REPORTED THAT IN THE SECOND QUARTER7 THERERISONERS. OF THESE,SCAPED, FOUR

WERE SHOT! ATTEMPTING TO ESCAPE, SIX WERE SENTENCED TO DEATH,

ANDERE EXECUTED WITHOUT SENTENCING. C JH0_JSCAPBD IN8 AFTER BEING SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS RETRAINING OR ATTEMPTING TO CHIEU HOI MAINTAINED THAfjTHERE WERE EIGHT SECURITY COMPOUNDS IN PHUNG HIEP DISTRICT, PHONG DINH PROVINCE. HE SAID THAT THE COMPOUND CAPACITIES RANGED FROTOURTHOUSE",WHERE UNTRIED PRISONERS WERE HELD.

NE OF THESE^ THERISONERS WERE KEPT TOGETHER AND MOVED FROM COMPOUND TO COMPOUND;ABOUT EVERY TEN DAYS. ABOUTERE ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM TROOPS ;AND ONE WAS AN AMERICANlj THE PRISONERS WERE KEPT CHAINED NEARLYAYJ/jBEATINGS WERE COMMON AND MEDICAL ^FACILITIES' WERE

12. THERE ARE SEVERAL INSTANCES,IESPECIALLY^AROUND' TET# WHERE GROUPS OF PRISONERS SUCH. ASNIT MEMBERS, INFORMANTS AND OTHER!"BAD ELEMENTsF'IwERE MARKED FOR IMMEDIATEN ISOLATED CASES-.'EVEN FWMF

:PRISONERS WERE PUT ON THESE LISTS, ALTHOUGH THIS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN

DONE WITH HIGH. LEVEL PARTY APPROVAL. VC POLICY CONCERNING DISPOSITION OF POWS'iWHEN IMMINENT DANGER ARISES IS NOT CLEAR. THERE ARE SOME DOCUMENTS SAYING TO KILL AND OTHERS SAYING NOT TO KILL UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES. THE CONTINUED RELEASEOWS,_'INCLUDING. FWMFV, AND THE CONTINUED APPEARANCE OF POW DIRECTIVES

URGING'A! LESS THAN BRUTAL POW POLICY INDICATES THAT THE FUNDAMENTAL POLICY OF LENIENCY AND HUMANITY FOR POLITICAL")

EXPEDIENCY. CONTINUES TO BE THE PREFERRED COURSE BY THE

VC-LEADERS.

FIELD ATESAiD DIRj JjUSPAO

/MR. NICHEL 'ARV NaVFORV 7TH AlR FORCE CINCPAC'l

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