Practice Relating to Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons
Section B. Wounded, sick and shipwrecked in the power of the adversary
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands, in the chapter dealing with the protection of the wounded and sick and referring to Article 20 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, states: “Measures of reprisal are prohibited against … the wounded [and] sick … in short against all protected persons and objects.”
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “Protected persons under the laws of war are: the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, regardless of whether they are military personnel or civilians … Reprisals against them must not be taken.”
In a chapter dealing with the wounded and sick, the Handbook further states: “Reprisals against [wounded and sick military personnel who have laid down their arms] are prohibited.”
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
In the history of warfare, reprisals carried out have often exceeded the set limits. This has led to the current prohibition, in the humanitarian law of war and specifically in AP I [1977 Additional Protocol I], of reprisals against several groups of people and objects.
The following are now forbidden as reprisals:
- attacks on the wounded and sick;
attacks on shipwreck survivors.
In its chapter on the protection of the wounded and sick, the manual states:
Reprisal measures against the wounded, sick, medical and religious personnel, medical units and medical means of transport, and in short, against all protected persons and property, are prohibited.
In its chapter on the protection of the civilian population, the manual states that “reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited”.