Myth: American POWs and other prisoners of the communists were treated humanely by their North Vietnamese captors

Fact: American POWs and others were routinely tortured and denied their rights under the Geneva Convention

  • Almost 15% of American POWs died while in captivity.
  • POWs were routinely tortured, shortly after capture, in an effort to extract information from them.
  • POWs were tortured when they attempted to resist, for efforts to pray or hold church services and simply for attempting to communicate with other prisoners.
  • Torture included beatings, breaking limbs, rope torture and bamboo torture.

Confirming Evidence

Treatment of American POWs in North Vietnam

Vietnam POW Recalls Horrors, Some Smiles From Captivity

War Crimes

John McCain's account of Viet Cong torture

Cuban War Crimes Against American POWs During the Vietnam War


Medal of Honor winner Bud Day describes his torture