Prisoners of war are detained for the purpose of preventing them from becoming combatants. They are not criminals, yet they may be abused and denied necessities and forced to live under inhumane conditions.
War prisoners may be denied essential medical care, forced to labour to aid the enemy, beaten, tortured, or starved. They may be obliged to serve in the enemy's forces, or they may be confined in the combat zone where they may be shelled, bombed, or fired upon. Mistreatment of POWs includes solitary confinement, inability to receive Red Cross transmitted communications or necessities, political brain-washing or indoctrination, and victimization by psychological, surgical or medical experimentation.