Practice Relating to Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons
Section A. Captured combatants and prisoners of war
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, in a provision entitled “Respect for the rules of international law applicable in armed conflicts” dealing with the duties of and prohibitions for combatants, states: “By virtue of the international conventions ratified or approved: … it is prohibited [to soldiers in combat]: … to take hostages, to engage in reprisals or collective punishments.”
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “Captured combatants … must be protected against violence and reprisals.”
France’s LOAC Manual (2001), in the chapter dealing with means and methods of warfare, states: “The law of armed conflict prohibits … the methods of warfare which consist in the recourse: … to reprisals against non-military objectives”.
The manual refers to Article 13 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and states: “Reprisals are prohibited against … prisoners of war”.
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states: “Prisoners of war … are protected persons … Reprisals against protected persons are prohibited.”
At the CDDH, France made a proposal for a draft article on reprisals within the 1977 Additional Protocol I – which it later withdrew – which read, inter alia
, as follows: “3… . The measures may not involve any actions prohibited by the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”