Practice Relating to Rule 122. Pillage of the Personal Belongings of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
France’s LOAC Manual (2001), under the heading “Disarm”, restates Article 18 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, and provides:
Disarming comprises the search for and the taking of material and documents of military importance. The following objects remain with the captured person: personal identification documents, clothing, foodstuffs and articles of personal use, articles for personal protection.
Under the heading “Prisoners of war”, the Manual further provides:
Disarming comprises the search for and the taking of material and documents of military importance (excluding: articles for individual protection, identification documents, clothing, foodstuffs and articles of personal use). This material becomes war booty.
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes common to both international and non-international armed conflicts: “Unless they are justified by military necessity, the following offences committed against a person protected by the law of armed conflict constitute … war crimes: … [s]tealing [or] extorting … objects.”