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Commentary of 2020 
Article 119 : Details of repatriation procedure
Text of the provision*
(1) Repatriation shall be effected in conditions similar to those laid down in Articles 46 to 48 inclusive of the present Convention for the transfer of prisoners of war, having regard to the provisions of Article 118 and to those of the following paragraphs.
(2) On repatriation, any articles of value impounded from prisoners of war under Article 18, and any foreign currency which has not been converted into the currency of the Detaining Power, shall be restored to them. Articles of value and foreign currency which, for any reason whatever, are not restored to prisoners of war on repatriation, shall be despatched to the Information Bureau set up under Article 122.
(3) Prisoners of war shall be allowed to take with them their personal effects, and any correspondence and parcels which have arrived for them. The weight of such baggage may be limited, if the conditions of repatriation so require, to what each prisoner can reasonably carry. Each prisoner shall in all cases be authorized to carry at least twenty-five kilograms.
(4) The other personal effects of the repatriated prisoner shall be left in the charge of the Detaining Power which shall have them forwarded to him as soon as it has concluded an agreement to this effect, regulating the conditions of transport and the payment of the costs involved, with the Power on which the prisoner depends.
(5) Prisoners of war against whom criminal proceedings for an indictable offence are pending may be detained until the end of such proceedings, and, if necessary, until the completion of the punishment. The same shall apply to prisoners of war already convicted for an indictable offence.
(6) Parties to the conflict shall communicate to each other the names of any prisoners of war who are detained until the end of the proceedings or until punishment has been completed.
(7) By agreement between the Parties to the conflict, commissions shall be established for the purpose of searching for dispersed prisoners of war and of assuring their repatriation with the least possible delay.
* Paragraph numbers have been added for ease of reference.
Reservations or declarations
None
Contents

A. Introduction
4492  Article 119 supplements Article 118 by setting out the procedure for the release and repatriation of prisoners of war after the cessation of active hostilities. These two articles deal with different situations from those addressed in Articles 109–117, which contain rules on the direct repatriation or accommodation in neutral countries of prisoners of war during hostilities.
4493  The first paragraph of Article 119 requires that repatriation be effected in conditions similar to those applicable to the transfer of prisoners of war during an armed conflict, having regard, however, to the provisions of Article 118 and the other paragraphs of Article 119. Certain conditions for the transfer of prisoners of war may need to be adapted to the specific context of release and repatriation, which must always take place without delay and results in the prisoners no longer being under the control of the Detaining Power.
4494  Paragraph 2 provides for the return of articles of value and of foreign currency impounded from prisoners of war. Paragraphs 3 and 4 regulate, respectively, the amount of personal effects that prisoners of war may take with them on repatriation and the way any remaining items are to be forwarded to them by the Detaining Power.
4495  Paragraphs 5 and 6 contain rules regarding the only explicit exception in the Convention to the obligation to release and repatriate without delay, namely where prisoners of war have been criminally indicted or are serving a sentence at the moment active hostilities cease. While the obligation to release and repatriate such prisoners still applies, the Detaining Power may wait to do so until the end of the proceedings or until the completion of the sentence.
4496  The last paragraph of Article 119 addresses the situation in which prisoners of war have gone missing. In those cases, it requires that Parties to the conflict establish commissions to search for dispersed prisoners of war with a view to repatriating them as soon as possible.
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B. Historical background
4497  The issue of repatriating prisoners of war was addressed for the first time in an international treaty in Article 75 of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War. However, the article did not regulate in detail the procedure for repatriation. It merely contained references to prisoners of war who were the subject of criminal proceedings at the time of repatriation and to the establishment of commissions to search for missing prisoners and to ensure their repatriation. The idea of using commissions to search for the missing was inspired by Article 222 of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.[1]
4498  The 17th International Conference of the Red Cross in Stockholm in 1948 recommended that the 1929 provisions be supplemented by new clauses regulating the conditions in which repatriation is to take place, as well as providing an order of priority for the repatriation plan.[2] The Diplomatic Conference in 1949 generally agreed with these recommendations, but decided in the end not to include criteria for determining an order of priority.[3] It did, however, add provisions concerning the personal effects of prisoners of war, to bring the repatriation process in line with other provisions dealing with the property of prisoners of war.[4] The provisions in the 1929 Convention regarding the need to search for dispersed prisoners of war were retained, with the addition of a reference to the purpose of the commission as including ‘assuring their repatriation with the least possible delay’.[5]
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C. Paragraph 1: Conditions of repatriation
4499  Article 119(1) provides that repatriation must be carried out in conditions similar to those prescribed in Articles 46–48 for the transfer of prisoners of war. Primarily, this entails an obligation on the Detaining Power to ensure that the repatriation is effected humanely.[6] More concretely, it means, for example, that during repatriation operations the Detaining Power must supply the prisoners with sufficient food and drinking water, clothing, shelter and medical attention, and must continue to protect them against public curiosity. If the Detaining Power is still holding wounded or sick prisoners of war who were not repatriated or accommodated in a neutral country during the hostilities, special medical arrangements need to be made, such as providing suitable means of transportation and/or arranging for medical teams to accompany the prisoners during repatriation, to ensure that the journey does not endanger their recovery.
4500  Article 119(1) does not require that the conditions of repatriation be identical to those applicable to transfers. Rather, they must be ‘similar’ which means that they must not differ in any essential respect from the conditions of transfer. As expressly recognized in paragraph 1, this allows for differences that follow from the other paragraphs of Article 119 or from Article 118. For example, there may be differences that result from the weight of personal effects prisoners are allowed to take with them or from the necessity of carrying out release and repatriation ‘without delay’.
4501  In the latter regard, a condition contained in Article 48(1) raised concerns during the 1949 Diplomatic Conference. According to that provision, prisoners of war must be able to inform their next of kin before any transfer takes place. Delegates at the Conference were concerned that it might take too long to find and inform relatives and therefore delay repatriation.[7] However, the Special Commission decided to retain the reference to Article 48 but to add that regard was to be had to the provisions of Article 118 and to those of the following paragraphs. This addition makes clear that the articles on transfers in no way override the provisions of Articles 118 and 119, in particular the obligation to repatriate ‘without delay’.[8] While the Detaining Power would ideally notify the prisoners sufficiently ahead of their repatriation to enable them to inform their families, it may not delay repatriation until they have done so.[9] Once the prisoners have been repatriated, their families will no longer be uncertain about their fate and, unlike in situations of transfer, will no longer need to be notified of their whereabouts.
4502  Furthermore, the use of the word ‘similar’ acknowledges that different considerations may apply to repatriation at the end of hostilities than to transfers of prisoners of war while hostilities are ongoing. Notably, heightened security measures and the need to protect prisoners from the fighting, involving hasty departures or travel at night, may affect transfers but would not necessarily be justified during repatriations in the absence of other security threats. Another difference may lie in the level of restrictions imposed on prisoners in order to prevent escape.[10]
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D. Paragraph 2: Restoration of articles of value
4503  The first sentence of Article 119(2) requires that the Detaining Power, when repatriating prisoners, return to them articles of value and foreign currency previously impounded.[11] This same provision is also included in Article 18(6), which adds that the items must be returned ‘in their initial shape’, i.e. undamaged and untampered with by the Detaining Power, and, when it concerns foreign currency, it may not have been converted by the Detaining Power into another currency except at the prisoner’s request.[12] If prisoners of war continue to be detained, pursuant to Article 119(5), after the cessation of active hostilities, the Detaining Power must keep their articles of value and foreign currency in custody and restore them to the prisoners at the moment of their release and repatriation.
4504  Any foreign currencies and articles of value not restored to prisoners of war on repatriation must be sent to the national information bureau. In line with this, Article 122(9) charges the bureau with collecting these items and forwarding them to the Power on which the prisoners depend. This procedure may be necessary to avoid delays if restoring valuables and money is likely to take too much time. In practice, the Central Tracing Agency may also be involved in this process.
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E. Paragraph 3: Personal effects of prisoners of war
4505  In line with Article 119(1), which requires conditions of repatriation to be similar to those of the transfers of prisoners of war, Article 119(3) reproduces the main elements of Article 48(2). It requires that prisoners of war be allowed to take their personal effects with them on the journey. The nature and range of items that may be included as ‘personal effects’ may be understood by reference to the description of prisoners’ property in Article 18.
4506  Article 119(3) differs in one aspect from Article 48(2). Whereas the latter states that the authorized weight ‘shall in no case be more than twenty-five kilograms per head’, the present provision permits prisoners to carry with them ‘at least twenty-five kilograms’ (emphasis added).[13] At the 1949 Diplomatic Conference, some delegations wanted to follow the formulation in Article 48(2), as prisoners marching with heavy baggage would have more difficulty reaching their destination.[14] However, the aim of the current provision is different: while Article 48(2) is meant to protect prisoners of war from having to travel under difficult conditions during a transfer, Article 119(3) seeks to enable prisoners of war to take as many belongings with them during repatriation as they wish and can reasonably carry.[15] This is subject to the conditions of repatriation. For example, if it takes place by air, there may be weight restrictions, although these may never be less than 25 kilograms per prisoner. It is important to note that personal effects may have sentimental value and may have helped the prisoners to cope with captivity.[16] Given prisoners’ likely attachment to these belongings, the Detaining Power should allow them to take as many as possible with them.
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F. Paragraph 4: Repatriation of personal effects left with the Detaining Power
4507  Article 119(4) provides that the personal effects of the repatriated prisoners not taken with them pursuant to paragraph 3 must be left in the charge of the Detaining Power until it has concluded an agreement with the Power on which the prisoners depend regarding the forwarding of these items to the prisoners. In such agreements, the Parties must detail the conditions of transport and how the costs will be covered.[17]
4508  The drafters of the provision initially envisaged that the Detaining Power would only forward prisoners’ personal effects if the prisoners had organized the transport themselves and paid the costs involved.[18] The final text was a compromise: relieving the Detaining Power of the costs without burdening the prisoners with formalities that might prove hard for them to fulfil while still in captivity.[19]
4509  Consistent with the provision in Article 18(6) concerning objects impounded during the conflict, the Detaining Power must maintain a register of all the personal effects of prisoners of war that remain in its custody after repatriation so that these items can be returned to them in due course.[20] Claims by repatriated prisoners regarding personal effects and valuables allegedly lost or withheld by the former Detaining Power must be directed to the Power on which they depend.[21]
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G. Paragraph 5: Ongoing criminal proceedings or punishment
4510  Article 119(5) states that prisoners of war against whom criminal proceedings for an indictable offence are pending, or who have already been convicted of such an offence, may be detained until the completion of the proceedings and the punishment.[22] The provision is based on Article 75 of the 1929 Convention, which referred to ‘criminal proceedings for a crime or offence at common law’ instead of ‘an indictable offence’.
4511  The authors of the earlier provision had initially tried to explain the meaning of an offence ‘at common law’ by inserting the words ‘i.e. of a non-military character’. These explanatory words were finally ultimately not included, as the drafters feared they might lead to confusion.[23] At the 1949 Diplomatic Conference, this phrase was changed to ‘an indictable offence’. It was not the intention of the drafters of the Convention that prisoners be detained because civil proceedings were being taken against them or because they had been summoned to appear before court for neglect of some obligation in civil law; they were thinking only of prisoners of war subject to criminal proceedings.[24] In domestic law, the term ‘indictable offence’ generally refers to ‘a crime that can be prosecuted only by indictment’, that is by a ‘formal written accusation of a crime’.[25] It generally excludes ‘summary’ offences (such as petty misdemeanours) that can be prosecuted without an indictment.[26] The equally authoritative French version of the Convention refers to ‘poursuite pénale pour un crime ou un délit de droit pénal’ (‘criminal proceedings for a crime or offence under criminal law’), which similarly may be understood to exclude the less serious category of ‘contraventions’. These terms, however, may not find direct application in every domestic legal system. In the context of Article 119, the term ‘indictable’ should be understood as referring to offences of a more serious nature, particularly where the available sentence includes periods of imprisonment.
4512  Article 119(5) does not apply to a prisoner of war who is serving a disciplinary sentence at the end of active hostilities.[27] Lacking a specific regulation for disciplinary punishments, the general rule of Article 118(1) applies, and prisoners who are still serving a disciplinary sentence at the end of active hostilities must be released and repatriated without delay.
4513  Paragraph 5 applies to prisoners of war against whom criminal proceedings are pending, irrespective of whether they are being detained in a penitentiary facility or, if this is not permissible under the laws of the Detaining Power,[28] in a cell within the prisoner-of-war camp. The term ‘pending’ implies that criminal proceedings must already have started when the obligation to release and repatriate arises.[29] Mere plans to start them in the future do not justify an exception to the repatriation obligation.[30]
4514  Once the criminal proceedings have been completed, the reference to detention implies that only prisoners who have been found guilty and whose punishment entails criminal detention may continue to be deprived of their liberty, and their repatriation may be postponed until they have served their sentences. If prisoners of war are acquitted or sentenced to pay a fine, they must be released and repatriated in accordance with Article 118(1).
4515  The present provision does not oblige the Detaining Power to detain prisoners of war while criminal proceedings are pending or following their conviction; it merely allows the Detaining Power to do so and to postpone the prisoners’ repatriation accordingly.[31] With regard to prisoners of war who have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, the Detaining Power could, for instance, try to reach an agreement with the Power on which the prisoners depend to allow them to serve their sentences in their home countries.
4516  If the Detaining Power decides not to retain prisoners of war against whom criminal proceedings are pending or who have not completed their sentences, they must be released and repatriated like the other prisoners of war. This means that their status as prisoners of war ends once they are repatriated,[32] irrespective of whether the Power on which they depend decides to keep them detained.[33] Whenever the Detaining Power continues to detain the prisoners after active hostilities have ceased pursuant to Article 119(5), however, the prisoners keep their prisoner-of-war status until they are released and repatriated and the Detaining Power must ensure that they are repatriated without delay after they have served their sentences.[34]
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H. Paragraph 6: Communication of names of prisoners of war not being repatriated
4517  The provision in Article 119(6) was new in the 1949 Convention.[35] By requiring that the names of prisoners not being repatriated be communicated to the other Party, it mitigates the risk of prisoners becoming unaccounted for and facilitates that the next of kin are notified of any delays in repatriation. The provision mirrors Article 115(3), which prescribes that the adverse Party be informed during hostilities of the names of prisoners of war who will continue to serve their sentences despite being eligible for repatriation or accommodation in a neutral country.
4518  There are several ways that the Parties to a conflict may inform each other in this respect. First, pursuant to Article 122(5), they must communicate to the national information bureau relevant information concerning releases and repatriation. Through the intermediary of the Central Prisoners of War Agency and the Protecting Powers, where they exist, the information bureau will forward this information to the Power on which the prisoners depend.[36] Second, the respective diplomatic services of the Parties to an armed conflict may exchange the relevant information directly. Failing either option, the ICRC may offer its services to assist in implementing this provision.
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I. Paragraph 7: The search for dispersed prisoners of war
4519  Both during and after a conflict, prisoners of war may go missing, in particular when they attempt to escape or return home by their own means. Article 119(7) provides that, by agreement between the Parties to the conflict, commissions must be established to search for those prisoners and repatriate them as soon as possible.[37]
4520  The obligation to search for missing prisoners of war is the counterpart of the right of families to know the fate of their relatives.[38] The provision in Article 119(7) is part of a general undertaking in the Third Convention to prevent prisoners of war from becoming unaccounted for.[39] In light of the obligation to search for missing prisoners of war, the implementation of Article 46(3) – applicable to repatriations in accordance with Article 119(1) – is particularly important.[40] It obliges the Detaining Power to draw up a list of all prisoners of war about to be transferred rather than simply provide the number of persons that will be moved. Moreover, recording the names of prisoners of war who are released or are about to be released reduces the risk of those prisoners becoming unaccounted for.
4521  In several international armed conflicts since the Second World War, some prisoners of war have remained unaccounted for at the end of active hostilities, and Parties have set up expert commissions to establish their fate or whereabouts. The ICRC has participated in the formation and functioning of such commissions. The Parties to these conflicts established files on persons missing after the close of active hostilities and transmitted them to the other Party through the ICRC. The ICRC has supported Parties in drawing up such files.[41] In one instance, a dialogue was maintained over many years to support efforts to resolve these cases.[42]
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Select bibliography
Dinstein, Yoram, ‘The release of prisoners of war’, in Christophe Swinarski (ed.), Studies and Essays on International Humanitarian Law and Red Cross Principles in Honour of Jean Pictet, ICRC/Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, 1984, pp. 37–45.
Krähenmann, Sandra, ‘Protection of Prisoners in Armed Conflict’, in Dieter Fleck (ed.), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 359–411.
Levie, Howard S., Prisoners of War in International Armed Conflict, International Law Studies, U.S. Naval War College, Vol. 59, 1978.
Rasmussen, Gustav, Code des prisonniers de guerre : Commentaire de la Convention du 27 juillet 1929 relative au traitement des prisonniers de guerre, Levin & Munksgaard, Copenhagen, 1931.
Rosas, Allan, The Legal Status of Prisoners of War: A Study in International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, 1976, reprinted 2005.
Sassòli, Marco, ‘Release, Accommodation in Neutral Countries, and Repatriation of Prisoners of War’, in Andrew Clapham, Paola Gaeta and Marco Sassòli (eds), The 1949 Geneva Conventions: A Commentary, Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 1039–1066.
Shields Delessert, Christiane, Release and Repatriation of Prisoners of War at the End of Active Hostilities: A Study of Article 118, Paragraph 1 of the Third Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Schulthess Polygraphischer Verlag, Zurich, 1977.

1 - Rasmussen, p. 43.
2 - Draft Conventions adopted by the 1948 Stockholm Conference, p. 94.
3 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-B, p. 320.
4 - See Articles 18(4)–(6), 48(2) and 122(9).
5 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, pp. 339–340 and 457.
6 - See Article 46(2) and, on the humane treatment of prisoners of war more generally, Article 13.
7 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, p. 296.
8 - Ibid. pp. 455 and 338; Minutes of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Committee II, Vol. II, 23rd meeting, p. 2.
9 - Note also that under Article 48 it is not required that two-way contact be established or that the prisoner of war receive confirmation of receipt from the next of kin, which may make it easier also to fulfil this requirement in the context of repatriation. See the commentary on Article 48, para. 2647.
10 - See also the commentary on Article 46, para. 2622.
11 - According to some authors, reference to repatriation in this case includes all cases of termination of captivity, such as ‘release, repatriation, escape, death, or any other means’; see Levie, p. 211.
12 - For a discussion of the implementation of this provision in some previous international armed conflicts, see the commentary on Article 18, para. 1863. Sums in the currency of the Detaining Power (including those converted into that currency at the prisoner’s request) are to be placed ‘to the credit of the prisoner’s account as provided in Article 64’ (Article 18(4)). Upon termination of the prisoner’s captivity, the Power on which they depend is responsible for settling any credit balance due to that prisoner by the Detaining Power (Article 66(3)).
13 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, pp. 452–453.
14 - Minutes of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Committee II, Vol. II, 23rd meeting, pp. 10 and 14.
15 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, p. 340; Minutes of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Committee II, Vol. II, 23rd meeting, pp. 11–12 and 14.
16 - Walter A. Lunden, ‘Captivity Psychoses among Prisoners of War’, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 39, No. 6, 1949, pp. 721–733, at 728.
17 - This is different for transfers of prisoners of war to another camp during the conflict. In such cases, the luggage that the prisoners are not able to take with them must be forwarded to them, and the Detaining Power must cover the costs; see Article 48(3) and (4).
18 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, p. 339.
19 - Ibid. pp. 339 and 454.
20 - See also the commentary on Article 18, section H.
21 - See Article 68(2).
22 - The English version of Article 119(5) provides that prisoners may be held back until the completion of the punishment ‘if necessary’. The French version of this provision uses the phrase ‘le cas échéant’. Article 115(2), which contains a parallel provision with regard to wounded and sick prisoners of war undergoing criminal proceedings or punishment and who are designated for repatriation or accommodation in a neutral country during hostilities, does not include this wording in either the French or English versions. In the 1929 Convention, the two French provisions, replaced by Articles 115(2) and 119(5) in the 1949 Convention, both included the phrase ‘le cas échéant’. The English predecessor of Article 115(2) used the phrase ‘if any’, while the English predecessor of Article 119(5) used the phrase ‘if need be’. The fact that Article 119 includes the phrase and Article 115 does not makes no difference to the meaning of the provision, which is merely that the Detaining Power may, where relevant, keep a prisoner of war interned until the completion of their sentence.
23 - Preliminary Documents submitted by the ICRC to the Conference of Government Experts of 1947, Vol. II, p. 188. See also Rasmussen, pp. 48–53.
24 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, pp. 455–456; see also ibid. Vol. II-B, p. 318.
25 - Bryan A. Garner (ed.), Black’s Law Dictionary, 11th edition, Thomson Reuters, 2019, pp. 923 and 1301.
26 - Ibid. p. 1113.
27 - This can be deduced by comparing the provision with its counterpart, Article 115, which is applicable while hostilities are ongoing. Unlike Article 119(5), Article 115 explicitly provides that prisoners who are eligible for repatriation or accommodation in a neutral country may not be held back because they have not undergone or completed a disciplinary punishment. Article 119, on the other hand, refers to ‘criminal’ proceedings only, indicating that disciplinary proceedings are excluded from the scope of the provision; see Minutes of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Committee II, Vol. II, 23rd meeting, pp. 12–13. In this regard, some delegations at the 1949 Diplomatic Conference had supported the idea that prisoners of war prosecuted for offences with maximum penalties of less than ten years or sentenced to less than ten years of imprisonment should not be kept back from repatriation either, as a similar provision was envisaged for Article 115. This proposal was not, however, included in either of the two articles; see Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, p. 455, and the commentary on Article 115, para. 4395. For a discussion of the distinction between the terms ‘disciplinary’ and ‘judicial’, and the terminology used within domestic military systems, see the commentary on Article 82, para. 3573.
28 - See Article 103(1), which prohibits confinement awaiting trial if members of the armed forces of the Detaining Power would not be confined if they were accused of a similar offence.
29 - Sassòli, p. 1059. See, however, Rosas, p. 489: ‘It would seem that this provision also gives the detaining power a reasonable time to investigate the conduct of the prisoners in its power so as to determine the nature of the alleged crimes and to be able to identify those against whom criminal proceedings may be instigated.’ (Emphasis in original.) For a discussion of when the obligation to release and repatriate arises, see the commentary on Article 118, section C.2.
30 - See Krähenmann, p. 410.
31 - See also UN Security Council, Report of the mission dispatched by the Secretary-General on the situation of prisoners of war in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq, August 1988, UN Doc. S/20147, 24 August 1988, para. 139(e), in which it was recommended that amnesty or pardon be considered for prisoners of war against whom criminal proceedings or punishments were pending.
32 - Article 5(1).
33 - For example, pursuant to domestic criminal law. Their rights as detainees will then be regulated by the domestic law of the Power on which they depend and on applicable human rights law.
34 - See the commentary on Article 85, section C.4, in relation to reservations regarding the applicability of the Geneva Conventions for those convicted of war crimes or crimes against humanity.
35 - Final Record of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Vol. II-A, p. 296; Minutes of the Diplomatic Conference of Geneva of 1949, Committee II, Vol. I, 15th meeting, p. 17.
36 - Article 122(3).
37 - By working jointly through commissions that investigate such cases, the Parties to the conflict can prevent the spread of allegations of abuses or ill-treatment. They can also show their commitment to upholding respect for the Convention.
38 - This right was later explicitly enshrined in Article 32 of Additional Protocol I. See also ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law (2005), Rule 117.
39 - See Articles 17(1), 70, 122 and 123, and Introduction, section A.3.f. The obligation to account for missing persons has furthermore attained customary status; see ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law (2005), Rule 117, which states that ‘[e]ach party to the conflict must take all feasible measures to account for persons reported missing as a result of armed conflict and must provide their family members with any information it has on their fate’. This obligation is further detailed in Article 33 of Additional Protocol I.
40 - In this regard, see also Article 126, which provides that representatives of the Protecting Power and the ICRC must have permission to go to all places where prisoners of war may be, enabling them to draw up similar lists.
41 - See ICRC, Annual Report 1992, ICRC, Geneva, p. 135, and Annual Report 1993, ICRC, Geneva, p. 222.
42 - See ICRC, Annual Report 1993, ICRC, Geneva, p. 222; Annual Report 2001, ICRC, Geneva, p. 319; Annual Report 2002, ICRC, Geneva, p. 297; Annual Report 2003, ICRC, Geneva, p. 262; Annual Report 2005, ICRC, Geneva, p. 304; Annual Report 2006, ICRC, Geneva, p. 311; Annual Report 2010, ICRC, Geneva, pp. 422–423; Annual Report 2011, ICRC, Geneva, p. 377; ‘Iraq: Progress in clarifying fate of former POWs missing after Iran-Iraq war’, News Release, 11 June 2008; and ‘Iran/Iraq: High-level meeting tackles fate of people missing since 1980-1988 war’, News Release, 13 October 2014.