Practice Relating to Rule 65. Perfidy
Section D. Simulation of surrender
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) prohibits perfidy. Thus, it states: “It is notably forbidden … to feign surrender.”
The manual considers the “perfidious use of … distinctive signs recognized by the [1949 Geneva] Conventions or [the 1977 Additional Protocol I], in violation of Article 37 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I],” as a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
15.2 Prohibited methods of warfare
223 Misuse of a distinctive sign and the feigning of protected status are prohibited in any place and at any time. Examples: … using the white flag to feign surrender and then opening fire on the approaching enemy … .
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
International humanitarian law prohibits killing, injuring or capturing an adversary by resorting to perfidy. Acts of perfidy include any form of deception designed to win the confidence of an adversary and lead him to believe that he is entitled or obliged to accord protection under the rules of international humanitarian law, with the intention of betraying that confidence. An example of perfidy is to falsely lay claim to protected status through the misuse of signs or emblems[.]