القاعدة ذات الصلة
Switzerland
Practice Relating to Rule 28. Medical Units
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides that “military and civilian hospitals marked with the red cross emblem” must be respected and protected. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 30(a).
The manual also provides that medical establishments and units of the medical service “shall be respected and protected. They shall not be attacked, nor harmed in any way, nor their functioning be impeded, even if they do not momentarily hold any wounded or sick.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 82.
The manual further provides:
The protection afforded to medical establishments, vehicles, aircraft and units may only be terminated if they are used to commit acts harmful to the enemy. The protection may only be terminated after a warning and a reasonable delay. Examples of violations: installation of an observation post on a hospital roof or a firing position in a medical post, collecting able-bodied troops in a field hospital, using an ambulance to transport munitions. Examples of acts which do not terminate protection: the presence of armed guards in front of a hospital, of weapons and munitions taken from the wounded inside an ambulance, the fact that the personnel of the unit or establishment are armed and that they use their arms for their own defence or the defence of the wounded and the sick, the presence of civilian wounded and sick. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 83.
The manual also states: “To the maximum extent possible, medical establishments shall be located at a safe distance from military objectives.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 84.
The manual qualifies the “intentional destruction of hospitals” as a war crime. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 192, commentary.
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I spare and respect personnel and installations as well as equipment and means of transport of the medical services … without discrimination unless they open fire on my comrades or me.” 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 7.
The Aide-Memoire further states with regard to the protective signs of the red cross and red crescent:
Correct behaviour
- Personnel, installations, material and means of transport of the medical services as well as carriers of signs or objects marked with distinctive signs must be respected and spared;
Prohibited is/are …
- Attacks against persons or objects carrying this sign[.] 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Chart of Protective Signs.
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states that, in application of the principle of distinction, “[s]urveillance posts on a hospital roof” can be shot at, explaining: “After a prior warning has remained in vain: perfidy, misuse of the distinctive emblem”. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 172.
The Regulation also states:
13 Protected persons
13.1 Behaviour with regard to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked and medical and religious personnel
176 Medical personnel, equipment and means of transport as well as localities used by the military service must be spared and must not be hindered in the fulfilment of their mission.
14 Protected objects
14.1 Medical establishments
203 All medical establishments must be respected and protected. They must not be attacked or damaged, nor prevented from pursuing their activities, even when no wounded or sick persons are currently being cared for therein. The right to protection applies to all fixed establishments, such as hospitals, medical posts and depots, as well as to all mobile medical units, such as medical vehicles, field hospitals and first-aid posts.
204 All medical establishments are signalled by means of a clearly visible distinctive emblem.
205 Access to medical establishments may be guarded by armed posts that carry out access control. This does not deprive the establishment of its protection.
206 Medical material and means of transport must not be destroyed. Checks on the content of vehicles and containers of the medical services, however, are permitted. If no abuse of the distinctive emblem is found, they must be allowed to continue their journey, if the situation allows.
15 Methods of warfare
15.2 Prohibited methods of warfare
225 Indiscriminate attacks, i.e. attacks which cannot distinguish between protected persons/objects and military objectives, as well as attacks directed against protected persons/objects or acts of revenge are prohibited in any place and at any time.
17 Sanctions for violations of the international law of armed conflict
17.1 General provisions
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … harmful acts against internationally protected persons and objects[.] 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 176, 203–206, 225 and 237. The German language version of the third sentence of § 206 notes: “… , if the security situation [“Sicherheitslage”] allows. …”.
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 112
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
d. medical units [and] buildings, material or vehicles marked with a distinctive sign provided for by international humanitarian law or whose protected character is recognizable even without a distinctive sign, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 112(1)(d). The word “and” in square brackets has been inserted to reflect the placement of “medical” in the official language versions of Article 112(1)(d).
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264d
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
d. medical units [and] buildings, material or vehicles marked with a distinctive sign provided for by international humanitarian law or whose protected character is recognizable even without a distinctive sign, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected.  
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264d (1)(d). The word “and” in square brackets has been inserted to reflect the placement of “medical” in the official language versions of Article 112(1)(d).
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Civilian objects
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and Military objectives, prohibiting acts of violence against the former. Other provisions provide special protection for certain specific civilian objects, some of which are expected to bear distinctive signs: medical units and means of transport, … . Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives.
Emblems (distinctive sign)
In Armed conflicts recognisable emblems serve above all to protect military and civilian medical installations as well as the buildings of national relief organisations and their personnel from attack (protective function). This protection is guaranteed not by the emblems themselves but is based directly in international law. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 12 and 18.
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
The current situation in Gaza cries out to us the importance of the issue we are discussing today. The main victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are civilians. …
… Switzerland also wishes to recall that all the parties to the conflict are under the obligation to protect medical personnel, hospitals and other sanitary facilities. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 14 January 2009, pp. 5–6.
In 2009, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
One of the primary concerns of humanitarian law and policy is to guarantee access to victims and to provide assistance to them. However, it frequently occurs … that it is impossible to ensure the security of humanitarian actors. This was once more clearly evident in the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008 and at the beginning of 2009. Switzerland called upon all the parties to the conflict … to protect medical personnel, hospitals and other medical units. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on Foreign Policy 2009, 2 September 2009, Section 3.3.7.3, p. 5811.
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council states:
3.3 Increasing use of guerrilla tactics …
International humanitarian law in force treats these cases in a relatively complete manner, binding non-State and State actors alike. … The use of human shields constitutes equally a serious violation of international humanitarian law, as does the abusive and deliberate use of protected objects (religious buildings, hospitals, cultural property) to protect military objectives or to serve as a base for combat operations. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 3.3, p. 12.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, including Switzerland, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
Members of the Friends Group have reliably called on the [UN] Security Council to strengthen its protection framework even more and consistently called for all six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict to be included amongst the Security Council Resolution 1612 [of 2005] listing criteria. The Friends Group has supported a progressive approach in this regard and therefore commends the Security Council in filling an important gap in the child protection framework by including attacks against schools and hospitals as the latest trigger through the resolution it will adopt today [Resolution 1998(2011)].
For the Friends Group, a new trigger such as this not only includes in the annexes to the Secretary General’s reports on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that, in contravention of applicable international law, engage in attacks against schools and hospitals, but also those who engage in threats or attacks against schoolchildren, patients, educational or medical personnel. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada before the UN Security Council during an open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, 12 July 2011.
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, which stated: “Moverover, the parties [to the conflict] are subject to the obligation to respect and protect at all times fixed establishments and mobile medical units as well as all humanitarian actors”. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, Press Release, 15 November 2012, § 9.
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks against medical and humanitarian personnel as well as medical installations, which, let us recall, are protected under international humanitarian law.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria and the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, 16 September 2013.
In 2013, in a statement at the 64th Session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the ambassador of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks against medical and humanitarian personnel as well as medical infrastructure and material. Such attacks constitute a war crime, a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and an attack on human dignity.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the ambassador of Switzerland at the 64th Session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1 October 2013.
In 2013, in a statement before the UN General Assembly during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks against the civilian population, including medical and humanitarian personnel, as well as against civilian, and especially medical, infrastructure. Such attacks constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland before the UN General Assembly during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, 24 October 2013.