Practice Relating to Rule 65. Perfidy
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “Ruses of war based on treachery and perfidy are prohibited.”
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 … .
In 2005, in a report in response to a parliamentary postulate on private security and military companies, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “International humanitarian law also limits the conduct of military operations permissible under international law. … Certain methods such as perfidiousness … are excluded.”
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Means and methods of warfare
Even in war not everything is allowed. Various means and methods are prohibited, including Perfidy, …
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 and feigning incapacitation on the grounds of injuries or sickness.