Practice Relating to Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons
Section C. Medical and religious personnel in the power of the adversary
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and the 1977 Additional Protocol II, Egypt stated:
The Arab Republic of Egypt, while declaring its commitment to respecting all the provisions of Additional Protocols I and II, wishes to emphasize, on the basis of reciprocity, that it upholds the right to react against any violation by any party of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocols I and II with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation.
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt stated:
Reprisals are prohibited against … medical services and personnel … The prohibition applies in respect of all weapons. In consequence, they (i.e. protected persons and objects) can never become targets of any attack, including nuclear attacks.
In its written comments on other written statements submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt stated:
Reprisals are prohibited against protected persons and objects according to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional Protocols. This prohibition of reprisal is absolute and applies to the use of all weapons. In consequence, the protected persons and objects can never become targets of any attack, including nuclear attacks. The provisions of the Conventions and the Protocols carrying this prohibition of reprisals against protected persons and objects are considered declaratory of customary law.
According to the Report on the Practice of Egypt, military communiqués issued during the Middle East War in 1973 and Egypt’s declaration upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I highlight Egypt’s position according to which reprisals should not be directed against protected persons and objects, but that this would not prevent Egypt from resorting to reprisals “in the most strict limits possible”.