Practice Relating to Rule 65. Perfidy
Section H. Simulation of protected status by using other internationally recognized emblems
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, punishes “anyone who abuses … the emblem of cultural property … to prepare or commit hostile acts” in time of armed conflict.
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended in 2007, states:
Any person who abuses … the emblem of cultural property in order to prepare or commit hostile acts is to be punished with three years’ or more imprisonment or a monetary penalty or, in less serious cases, a year imprisonment or less.
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) considers the “perfidious use of … distinctive signs recognized by the [1949 Geneva] Conventions or [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]”, as a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
Switzerland’s Regulation on Ten Basic Rules for the Protection of Cultural Property (2013) states:
Rule No. 2 Protection symbol
Any inappropriate use of cultural protection symbols, e.g. for the purpose of deceiving an opponent or protecting military targets, is prohibited (malice).
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[.]