Practice Relating to Rule 104. Respect for Convictions and Religious Practices
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states that “religious convictions [of protected persons] … shall be respected”.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
All persons are to be treated humanely in all circumstances and without any adverse distinction based upon … religion or belief … Their person, honour, convictions and religious practices must be respected.
The manual also states with regard to the general treatment of protected persons in both their own territory and occupied territory that “religious convictions … of protected persons shall be respected”.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
In the Tanaka Chuichi case
before an Australian military court in 1946, the accused had ill-treated Sikh prisoners of war, had cut their hair and beards and had forced some of them to smoke a cigarette, acts contrary to their culture and religion. The Court found the accused guilty of violations of, inter alia
, the 1929 Geneva POW Convention.