Practice Relating to Rule 89. Violence to Life
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1990) provides for the punishment of anyone who, in time of war, orders or directly commits the killing of civilians, the wounded or prisoners of war.
The Code also punishes “anyone who, in time of peace or in time of war, commits acts resulting in mass extermination of the population of an area”.
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1999) provides for the punishment of those “who, in time of war, give the order for or directly undertake the murder of civilians, wounded persons [or] prisoners of war”.
The Code also provides for the punishment of those “who, in time of peace or time of war, commit acts of annihilating en-masse the population of an area”.
Viet Nam’s Criminal Code (2015) states:
Article 423. War crimes
1. Any person in wartime who orders or directly commits the murder of civilians, wounded people, or prisoner[s] of war; pillages; destroys residential areas; uses banned war instruments or methods[;] or commits other acts that seriously violate international law or an international agreement to which [the] Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory shall face a penalty of 10–20 years’ imprisonment, life imprisonment, or death
2. [If t]his offence is committed under pressure or order[s] given by superior officers, the offender shall face a penalty of 10–20 years’ imprisonment.
Viet Nam’s Criminal Procedure Code (2015), which is applicable to the prosecution of war crimes, states:
Article 10. Sustainment of bodily integrity
Every person is entitled to inviolability of the physical body. …
Emergency custody, arrest, temporary detainment or detention must abide by this Law. Torture, extortion of deposition, corporal punishment or any treatments violating a person’s body, life and health are [prohibited].
Article 11. Protection of individuals’ life, health, honor, dignity and belongings and juridical persons’ reputation and property
[The l]ife, health, honor, dignity and belongings of every person are protected by the laws.
The laws penalize all unlawful violations of a person’s life, health, honor, dignity and belongings and a juridical person’s fame, reputation and property.
In 2015, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the permanent representative of Viet Nam stated:
ASEAN … remains deeply concerned about the fact that growing number[s] of children continue to be affected by grave violations in armed conflicts, including killing and sexual violence.