Practice Relating to Rule 124. ICRC Access to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Geneva Conventions (1949)
Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions provides that, in the case of armed conflict not of an international character, “an impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict”. 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3; Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3; Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3; Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 3.
Geneva Convention III
Article 56 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
The organization and administration of labour detachments shall be similar to those of prisoner of war camps.
Every labour detachment shall remain under the control of and administratively part of a prisoner of war camp. The military authorities and the commander of the said camp shall be responsible, under the direction of their government, for the observance of the provisions of the present Convention in labour detachments.
The camp commander shall keep an up-to-date record of the labour detachments dependent on his camp, and shall communicate it to the delegates of the Protecting Power, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or of other agencies giving relief to prisoners of war, who may visit the camp. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 56.
Geneva Convention III
Article 125, first, second and third paragraphs, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
Subject to the measures which the Detaining Powers may consider essential to ensure their security or to meet any other reasonable need, the representatives of religious organizations, relief societies, or any other organization assisting prisoners of war, shall receive from the said Powers, for themselves and their duly accredited agents, all necessary facilities for visiting the prisoners, distributing relief supplies and material, from any source, intended for religious, educational or recreative purposes, and for assisting them in organizing their leisure time within the camps. Such societies or organizations may be constituted in the territory of the Detaining Power or in any other country, or they may have an international character.
The Detaining Power may limit the number of societies and organizations whose delegates are allowed to carry out their activities in its territory and under its supervision, on condition, however, that such limitation shall not hinder the effective operation of adequate relief to all prisoners of war.
The special position of the International Committee of the Red Cross in this field shall be recognized and respected at all times. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 125, first, second and third paras.
Geneva Convention III
Article 126 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
Representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have permission to go to all places where prisoners of war may be, particularly to places of internment, imprisonment and labour, and shall have access to all premises occupied by prisoners of war; they shall also be allowed to go to the places of departure, passage and arrival of prisoners who are being transferred. They shall be able to interview the prisoners, and in particular the prisoners’ representatives, without witnesses, either personally or through an interpreter.
Representatives and delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. The duration and frequency of these visits shall not be restricted. Visits may not be prohibited except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and then only as an exceptional and temporary measure.
The Detaining Power and the Power on which the said prisoners of war depend may agree, if necessary, that compatriots of these prisoners of war be permitted to participate in the visits.
The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross shall enjoy the same prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates shall be submitted to the approval of the Power detaining the prisoners of war to be visited. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 126.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 76, sixth paragraph of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Protected persons who are detained shall have the right to be visited by delegates of the Protecting Power and of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in accordance with the provisions of Article 143. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 76, sixth para..
Geneva Convention IV
Article 96 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
All labour detachments shall remain part of and dependent upon a place of internment. The competent authorities of the Detaining Power and the commandant of a place of internment shall be responsible for the observance in a labour detachment of the provisions of the present Convention. The commandant shall keep an up-to-date list of the labour detachments subordinate to him and shall communicate it to the delegates of the Protecting Power, of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of other humanitarian organisations who may visit the places of internment. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 96.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 142 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Subject to the measures which the Detaining Powers may consider essential to ensure their security or to meet any other reasonable need, the representatives of religious organizations, relief societies, or any other organizations assisting the protected persons, shall receive from these Powers, for themselves or their duly accredited agents, all facilities for visiting the protected persons, for distributing relief supplies and material from any source, intended for educational, recreational or religious purposes, or for assisting them in organizing their leisure time within the places of internment. Such societies or organizations may be constituted in the territory of the Detaining Power, or in any other country, or they may have an international character.
The Detaining Power may limit the number of societies and organizations whose delegates are allowed to carry out their activities in its territory and under its supervision, on condition, however, that such limitation shall not hinder the supply of effective and adequate relief to all protected persons.
The special position of the International Committee of the Red Cross in this field shall be recognized and respected at all times. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 142.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 143 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have permission to go to all places where protected persons are, particularly to places of internment, detention and work.
They shall have access to all premises occupied by protected persons and shall be able to interview the latter without witnesses, personally or through an interpreter.
Such visits may not be prohibited except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and then only as an exceptional and temporary measure. Their duration and frequency shall not be restricted.
Such representatives and delegates shall have full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. The Detaining or Occupying Power, the Protecting Power and when occasion arises the Power of origin of the persons to be visited, may agree that compatriots of the internees shall be permitted to participate in the visits.
The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross shall also enjoy the above prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates shall be submitted to the approval of the Power governing the territories where they will carry out their duties. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 143.
Protocol to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam
Article 9 of the 1973 Protocol to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam designated Red Cross Societies with the task of visiting all places of detention. 
Protocol on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam concerning the Return of Captured Military Personnel and Foreign Civilians and Captured and Detained Vietnamese Personnel, signed on behalf of the United States of America, the Republic of Viet-Nam, the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet-Nam, Paris, 27 January 1973, Article 9.
Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords
Article IX of the 1995 Agreement on the Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement annexed to the Dayton Accords provided that the ICRC was to enjoy “full and unimpeded access to all places where prisoners are kept and to all prisoners”. 
General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 1A, Military Aspects of the Peace Settlement, signed by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, Dayton, 22 November 1995, Article IX.
Agreement between the Government of Greece and the ICRC
In the 1969 Agreement between the Government of Greece and the ICRC, it was agreed that ICRC delegates shall have access
to all places where administrative deportees are permanently or temporarily held, namely: camps for deportees, places of temporary detention pending transfer, infirmaries and hospitals …
… to all prisons and other premises within the country where persons accused of or condemned for political offences are detained …
… to all police stations where people are temporarily detained pending preliminary enquiries into political offences, so that they may form a personal opinion on the state of the premises and the conditions of detention. 
Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Greece and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Athens, 3 November 1969.
Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
Article 5(2) of the 1986 Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement provides that it is the role of the ICRC “to undertake the tasks incumbent upon it under the Geneva Conventions” and “to endeavour at all times – as a neutral institution whose humanitarian work is carried out particularly in time of international and other armed conflicts or internal strife – to ensure the protection of and assistance to military and civilian victims of such events and of their direct results”. Article 5(3) provides that the ICRC “may take any humanitarian initiative which comes within its role as a specifically neutral and independent institution and intermediary, and may consider any question requiring examination by such an institution”. 
Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, adopted by the 25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23–31 October 1986, Article 5(2) and (3).
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
Principle 29 of the 1988 Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides:
1. In order to supervise the strict observance of relevant laws and regulations, places of detention shall be visited regularly by qualified and experienced persons appointed by, and responsible to, a competent authority distinct from the authority directly in charge of the administration of the place of detention or imprisonment.
2. A detained or imprisoned person shall have the right to communicate freely and in full confidentiality with the persons who visit the places of detention or imprisonment in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present principle, subject to reasonable conditions to ensure security and good order in such places. 
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 43/173, 9 December 1988, Principle 29.
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners
Paragraph 4 of the 1991 Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners provides: “The signatories of the agreement agree to proceed to the exchange immediately after the ICRC has recorded and visited the prisoners in conformity with its specific criteria.” 
Agreement between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the Exchange of Prisoners and of Persons Deprived of Liberty, Zagreb, 6 November 1991, § 4.
Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action
Section IV of the 1992 Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action provided:
–ICRC delegates will have free access to all persons captured or detained;
–ICRC delegates will be authorized to interview these persons without witnesses, to register them, to inform their families about their welfare and whereabouts, and to repeat such visits whenever necessary. 
Agreement No. 3 between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community) on the ICRC Plan of Action, Geneva, 6 June 1992, Section IV.
Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners
Article 8 of the 1992 Agreement between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners provides: “The ICRC shall have free access to all prisoners and may make a census of the population of any place of detention with a view to drawing up a specific plan of operation as provided in Article 3.” 
Agreement on the Release and Transfer of Prisoners, concluded between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Mate Boban (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 1 October 1992, Article 8.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.4 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina provides: “The ICRC shall have free access to all captured combatants in order to fulfil its humanitarian mandate according to the third Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.” 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.4.
Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan
In paragraph 5 of the 1996 Ashgabat Protocol on Prisoner Exchange in Tajikistan, the Government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition agreed
to confirm their earlier commitment to ensure the unimpeded access by delegates of ICRC and members of the Joint Commission to places where the detainees and prisoners of war are being held, both during the present operation [of prisoner exchange] and in future. 
Protocol on the Implementation of a Humanitarian Action Involving the Exchange of Prisoners of War and Detainees, concluded between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition, Ashgabat, 21 July 1996, annexed to Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan, UN Doc. S/1996/754, 13 September 1996, § 5.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 8(g) of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “ICRC’s right to visit prisoners and detained persons shall be respected and guaranteed.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 8(g).
Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2005)
Paragraph 4 of the 2005 Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan states:
The International Committee of the Red Cross will have a right to visit detainees at any time while they are in custody, whether held by the Canadian Forces or by Afghanistan. Visits may be delayed by a Detaining Power only as an exceptional and temporary measure for reasons of imperative military necessity. 
Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, signed on 18 December 2005 in Kabul by the Afghan Minister of Defence and the Canadian Chief of Defence Staff, § 4.
Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2007)
Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the 2007 Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan state:
1. The following supplements the Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees Between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan of December 18, 2005, which continues in effect.
2. Representatives of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), and . . . others empowered to represent the Government of Canada will have full and unrestricted access to any persons transferred by the Canadian Forces to Afghan authorities while such persons are in custody. In addition to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), relevant human rights institutions with the UN system will be allowed access to visit such persons. 
Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, signed on 3 May 2007 in Kabul by the Afghan Minister of Defence and the Canadian Chief of Defence Staff, §§ 1 and 2.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides:
Representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have permission to go to all places where prisoners of war may be, particularly to places of internment, imprisonment and labour, and shall have access to all premises occupied by prisoners of war; they shall be allowed to go to the places of departure, passage and arrival of prisoners who are being transferred. They shall be able to interview the prisoners, and in particular the prisoners’ representatives, without witnesses, either personally or through an interpreter …
Representatives and delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. The duration and the frequency of these visits shall not be restricted. Visits may not be prohibited except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and then only as an exceptional and temporary measure …
The delegates of the ICRC shall enjoy the same prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates shall be submitted to the approval of the Power detaining the prisoners of war to be visited. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 2.105.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “Prisoners of war have the right to apply to the representative of the Protecting Power.” It further states: “The Protecting Power and the ICRC shall have access to all premises occupied by prisoners of war.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 47.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides that one of the functions of the ICRC is to protect and assist the victims by visiting prisoners of war, security detainees and interned persons. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule I, p. 8.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that prisoners of war “have the right to receive a visit from the ICRC”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 105.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “The Rights of Prisoners of War”, states: “National and international humanitarian organizations shall have the right to visit detention centres”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 35, § 141; see also p. 55, § 241 and p. 81, § 331.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides:
In accordance with [the 1949 Geneva Convention III], delegates or representatives of Protecting Powers and of the ICRC shall be permitted to visit all places where PWs [prisoners of war] may be, including places of detention and labour, and may interview PWs and PWs’ representatives without witnesses, either personally or through interpreters. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-6, § 51.
Concerning persons undergoing sentence of imprisonment, the manual provides: “Protected persons who are detained have the right to be visited by delegates of the Protecting Power and of the ICRC.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 12-7, § 62(c).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs):
In accordance with [the 1949 Geneva Convention III] delegates or representatives of Protecting Powers and of the ICRC shall be permitted to visit all places where PWs may be, including places of detention and labour, and may interview PWs and PWs’ representatives without witnesses, either personally or through interpreters. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1037.
In its chapter on rights and duties of occupying powers, the manual states:
[The 1949 Geneva Convention IV] contains stringent provisions concerning the treatment of persons undergoing sentence of imprisonment. These are as follows:
c. Protected persons who are detained have the right to be visited by delegates of the Protecting Power and of the ICRC. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1233.1.c.
In its chapter entitled “Preventative and enforcement measures and the role of protecting powers”, the manual further states:
In accordance with Common Article 3 of the [1949 Geneva Conventions], the ICRC may offer its services to the parties to the conflict. Good offices, mediation and PW visits and exchanges are examples of such services. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1502.3.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual also states:
Common Article 3 [of the 1949 Geneva Conventions] also provides that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), or some other impartial humanitarian body, is authorized to offer its services to parties to a non-international armed conflict. This is known as the right of initiative, which is recognized under the LOAC. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1708.2.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states:
Representatives and Delegates of Protecting Powers and ICRC Delegates have the right to investigate the treatment and administration of PW [prisoners of war] wherever they may be and are to be allowed to interview PW without witnesses. They are to be given support and cooperation in this work. For Canada, this right can be temporarily delayed for reasons of imperative military necessity by the MND (Minister of National Defence) in Canada and the Joint Task Force (JTF) Commander outside Canada. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 106.4.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct After Capture Manual (2004) states:
In accordance with [the 1949 Geneva Convention III], delegates or representatives of Protecting Powers and of the ICRC shall be permitted to visit all places where PWs [prisoners of war] may be, including places of detention and labour, and may interview PWs and PWs’ representatives without witnesses, either personally or through interpreters. 
Canada, The Code of Conduct After Capture for the Canadian Forces, B-GJ-005-110/FP-010, National Defence Headquarters, 28 October 2004, § 313.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008) states:
Chapter 4: Use of Force in International Operations
402. Types of International Operations
1. In general, there are four types of international operational relationships in which the CF [Canadian Forces] may participate with each one having unique considerations pertaining to the use of force, self-defence and rules of engagement:
a. Alliance. Alliance operations refer to operations conducted under a formal standing alliance such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or Canada-United States (CANUS). In these cases, there are formal policy, command-and-control and force structure instruments which will affect ROE [rules of engagement] development and application;
b. Coalition. A coalition is a less formal alliance which is normally limited to a specific mission. Coalitions normally lack the formal status of forces' agreements and infrastructure architectures that are common to alliances such as NATO. A coalition may operate under the legal umbrella of a UN Security Council resolution, but they are not UN missions. Once a mission or operation has been completed, the coalition is normally disbanded;
c. United Nations (UN). UN missions operate under a UN Security Council resolution and fall within the UN command-and-control structure; and
d. Unilateral. An international operation where Canadian forces are operating unilaterally within a region or area.
407. Supplementary Direction
3. Detainees. In support of the operational or security objectives of an international operation, Canadian forces may be required to detain persons. Reasons to detain include, but are not limited to, persons who do the following:
a. interfere with the accomplishment of the mission and related tasks;
b. otherwise use or threaten force against friendly forces, or the equipment and materials belonging to them, or under their protection;
c. enter an area under the control of friendly forces without prior authorization; and
d. are suspected of breaches of the law of armed conflict.
4. Where the use of deadly force is authorized in a given situation, that authority also includes the authority to detain persons against whom deadly force could have been used. In all other cases, specific ROE must be authorized in order to detain persons. The standards provided in the Geneva Conventions will be the minimum standard for the treatment of all detainees whether or not the Geneva Conventions legally apply during the operation. 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, §§ 402.1 and 407.3–4.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) includes amongst the rights to be accorded to prisoners of war: “Humanitarian organizations shall be given access and visiting rights.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 59; see also p. 37.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 3. Rules on behaviour in combat
I. Rules on behaviour
Enemy combatant prisoners
- allow the ICRC to visit them.
II. Rights and duties of prisoners of war
The prisoner of war is an enemy combatant hors de combat due to the fact of his capture. As such, he enjoys a legal status which guarantees him rights.
- the ICRC has the right to visit the places of detention,
- other national and international humanitarian organizations can equally be authorized to visit the places of detention which must remain protected,
Lesson 5. The International Committee of the Red Cross
The aim of this lesson is to familiarize the soldier with the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC] generally and in particular in times of armed conflict.
… To protect and assist the victims of situations of armed conflict and disturbances, the ICRC undertakes several activities in their favour
- it visits persons who are deprived of their liberty (prisoners of war, “political” detainees …) and who could be victims of arbitrary treatment; (for security reasons, this activity can only be carried out by the delegates of the ICRC and not by the members of the National Society):
Whatever the circumstances, the ICRC applies the following criteria within the framework of its activities for detainees and prisoners:
- its delegates must be allowed to visit all the prisoners (or detainees) and to talk freely with them, without witness;
- they must have access to all places of detention and must be allowed to repeat their visits;
- they must receive lists of all the persons to visit (or must themselves be able to establish such lists). 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 21, 24, 27 and 33–34; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 18, 32 and 24–35; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 55–56.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states: “In order for the ICRC to be able to carry out its task of guardian of international humanitarian law, the [1949] Geneva Conventions grant the ICRC a right of access to prisoners of war and civilians. They inter alia confer an extensive right of initiative.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 20.
The manual also lists “visits to persons deprived of their liberty” as an example of the ICRC’s “general action to provide protection and assistance to the civilian population”. 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 32.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Handbook (1989) recognizes the special status of the ICRC and recalls its specific tasks: visiting and interviewing prisoners of war. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.2.
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Soldiers’ Manual provides that the prisoners’ “control book”, which contains the names of all civilian and combatant detainees, shall be notified to the ICRC the day of its visit to the detention centre. 
El Salvador, Manual del Combatiente, undated, p. 6.
The manual states that one of the principal functions of the ICRC is to visit prisoners and to talk with them without witnesses. 
El Salvador, Manual del Combatiente, undated, p. 11.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) provides that, during their captivity, prisoners are to be concentrated in internment camps and must be under Red Cross supervision. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 52.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The prisoners must be concentrated into prisoner-of-war camps that must meet the conditions specified in the Convention and under the inspection of the Red Cross.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 33.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides that to protect the victims of war, the ICRC shall repeat its visits to prisoners of war. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. I-T, § 22.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention III, states:
205. Relief societies, the ICRC and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies played such an important role in helping prisoners of war during the two World Wars that the [1949 Geneva] Convention [III] devotes an article to them, aimed at facilitating and encouraging their activity.
206. This provision requires States to grant them and their duly accredited delegates all the necessary facilities to visit prisoners, distribute relief supplies and religious, educational and recreational materials and help them organize leisure activities within the camps. The special status of the ICRC in this regard must be recognized and respected at all times.
207. The Convention provides that representatives of the Protecting Powers must be given permission to visit any place where prisoners of war are being held, particularly places of internment, imprisonment and labour. They must be given access to all premises used by prisoners. ICRC delegates enjoy the same prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates must be submitted for approval to the power detaining the prisoners of war to be visited. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, §§ 205–207.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
In addition to possible action as a protecting power and to gathering information on prisoners of war, the ICRC fulfils the following tasks:
- visiting people who have been deprived of their freedom (prisoners of war, political prisoners and civilians who have been imprisoned for other reasons), and to seek to bring improvement in their living conditions. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0243.
In its chapter on the prevention and punishment of war crimes, the manual states:
[C]onditions in prisoner-of-war and internment camps and the state of health and food supply of the civilian population in occupied territory may come under the supervision of a protecting power. Here the ICRC may act as a protecting power. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1118.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Every detainee is entitled to maintain contact with the outside world, and it is obvious that the ICRC should be called upon to visit the peace force’s prison camps and give further advice.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1226.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Delegates or representatives of Protecting Powers and of the ICRC shall be permitted to visit all places where prisoners of war may be, including places of detention and labour, and may interview prisoners and prisoners’ representatives without witnesses, either personally or through interpreters. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 937.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states with regard to substitutes for Protecting Powers: “The International Committee of the Red Cross can carry out the humanitarian activities assigned to it under international humanitarian law with the consent of the parties to the conflict.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 25.d.(2).(a).
The manual also states: “The [1949] Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War contains detailed provisions on … the right to communicate with the Protecting Power and the right of the Protecting Power or the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit any place where prisoners of war are being held.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 56.e.
The manual further states: “The following medical personnel can provide medical services to prisoners of war and civilian internees: … medical personnel of the ICRC.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 90.a.(4).
In the context of a non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the parties to the conflict.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 71.b.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states with regard to substitutes for Protecting Powers: “The International Committee of the Red Cross can carry out the humanitarian activities assigned to it under international humanitarian law with the consent of the parties to the conflict.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 26(d)(2)(a), p. 235.
The manual also states: “The [1949] Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War contains detailed provisions on … the right to communicate with the Protecting Power and the right of the Protecting Power or the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit any place where prisoners of war are being held.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 57(e), p. 263.
The manual further states: “The following medical personnel can provide medical services to prisoners of war and civilian internees: … medical personnel of the ICRC.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 81(a)(4), pp. 675–676.
In the context of a non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the parties to the conflict.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 72(b), p. 271.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides that the ICRC is allowed to visit prisoners of war. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 43.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
1.2 Reasons for compliance with LOAC [law of armed conflict] and basic principles thereof.
Fundamental Norms and Values (rules)
The fundamental norms/val[u]es which underlie the LOAC are:
- All persons who are captured or under the authority of an adverse party are entitled to, as a minimum, the protection and guarantees bestowed upon prisoners of war (POW).
1.4 Different Types of armed Conflict and those bound by LOAC
Current Op[]inio Juris on Common Article 3 [of the 1949] Geneva Conventions. This article determines that, in the case of armed conflicts not of an international character, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply certain minimum rules. Although originally written for situations of non-international armed conflict, the current legal opinion is that its contents are so fundamental that it is applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts. The minimum rules contained in Common article 3 Geneva Conventions, are the following:
- An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 1, pp. 13, 16–17, 26 and 29–30.
The manual also states:
2.3 Specifically Protected Persons and Objects …
c. Prisoners of War
POW have the right to;
- be visited by members of the ICRC.
2.4 Specifically Protected Persons and Objects:
a. Civilians
Protection of protected persons entails the following:
- Protected persons must be able to apply for assistance from the Protecting Power, the ICRC, the National Red Cross/Crescent Societies, or any other organisation which may assist them. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual , School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 72, 91, 98, 112 and 124.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides that the ICRC shall be allowed to visit POWs (prisoners of war) and internees under the usual conditions. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, §§ 6.4.j and 6.8.j.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Representatives or delegates of the ICRC and the Protecting Powers must be allowed to visit all places where prisoners of war [and detainees] are being held and interview them, without witnesses, as often as they wish.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, §§ 6.4.j and 6.8.j.
The manual further states:
Visits to places where prisoners and internees are being held by representatives of the Protecting Powers or the International Committee of the Red Cross may only be prohibited “for reasons of imperative military necessity”, and then only as an exceptional and temporary measure. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.4.a.(4).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “Inspection of prisoner of war camps under the III Geneva Convention has become one of the most important duties of a Protecting Power and of the ICRC.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 4.1, p. 92.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides:
The Protecting Powers and the ICRC shall ensure respect for the international rules established in favour of prisoners of war to protect their interests. To this effect, they shall cooperate with the Detaining Power, which shall facilitate their tasks. The prisoners of war shall always have the ability to lodge complaints to the Protecting Power. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 108.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides that one of the functions of the ICRC is to protect and assist the victims by visiting prisoners of war, security detainees and interned persons. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule I, p. 8.
The manual, referring to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, further reaffirms the right of the ICRC to visit these persons. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule I, p. 11.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
In the performance of their duties commanders and commanding officers shall be guided by the rules of international humanitarian law that oblige them:
During an armed conflict:
- to assist as much as possible the International Committee of the Red Cross in the performance of its humanitarian functions aimed at the protection of and assistance to the victims of armed conflicts. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.5.1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
If no protection can be arranged, the Detaining Power must request, or shall accept, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organisation, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the humanitarian functions performed by the Protecting Power. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 277.
The manual further provides that representatives or delegates of the protecting powers or the ICRC shall be allowed to visit all prisoner of war camps. It points out: “Delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross enjoy the same privileges as those of Protecting Powers. Their appointment must be submitted to the Detaining Power for approval.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 278.
The manual also states that “refusing prisoners of war access to the Protecting Power” is a war crime. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 626.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states:
The Protecting Power has various functions, notably to inspect PW camps and to deal with prisoners’ appeals for help in correcting any violations of the [Third Geneva] Convention by the Detaining Power. If no neutral Protecting Power has been appointed, its functions can be exercised by the ICRC or some other humanitarian organisation, subject to the consent of the parties to the conflict concerned. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 8, p. 33, § 20.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states in its chapter on occupied territory:
Protected persons who are detained either because they are awaiting trial or as a result of a custodial sentence are entitled to have the following treatment:
h. detainees have the right to be visited by representatives of the protecting power and the ICRC. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 11.74 11 .
In its discussion on judicial proceedings against prisoners of war, the manual states: “All prisoners of war sentenced to confinement have the rights to … make requests and complaints and deal with representatives of the protecting power or the ICRC.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.144.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual restates the provision of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions according to which “an impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.4.2.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Article 126 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Articles 142 and 143 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 207 and 349–350.
United States of America
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) provides that, subject to essential security needs and other reasonable requirements, the ICRC must be permitted to visit prisoners of war and provide them with certain types of relief. 
United States, Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-187.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) recognizes the special status of the ICRC and recalls its specific tasks: visiting and interviewing prisoners of war. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 6.2.2.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “The [1949] Geneva Conventions recognize the special status of the ICRC and have assigned specific tasks for it to perform, including visiting and interviewing prisoners of war.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.2.
United States of America
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
The ICRC and Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Similar Organizations.
(1) During the course of detention operations, it is likely that U.S. commanders will encounter representatives of organizations attempting to assert a role in protecting the interests of detainees. Such representatives will often seek access to detainees, and/or offer their services to assist in the care and maintenance of detainees. Effective detention operations planning will establish a mechanism for command interaction with such organizations in order to maximize the benefit of potential contributions to the U.S. effort. Commanders must anticipate that, upon initiation of detention operations, these organizations will request access to and/or information about detainees, and they will continue to do so throughout the operation. Commanders should seek guidance through operational command channels for responding to such requests prior to the initiation of detention operations, or as soon thereafter as possible. In the absence of mission-specific guidance, all such requests for access or information should flow via the established chain of command to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).
(2) Commanders must also be cognizant of the special status of the ICRC. Per DOD [Department of Defense] policy, the ICRC is the only organization presumptively authorized access to detainees. Consistent with the [1949] Geneva Conventions, it is DOD policy that the ICRC shall be allowed to offer its services during an armed conflict, however characterized, to which the United States is a party. ICRC access to detainees is subject to temporary suspension based on imperative considerations of military necessity. As a general rule, commanders should be in the grade of O-5 or above and should coordinate with a legal adviser before ordering a suspension of ICRC access to a detainee. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, p. III-9.
The manual also states:
DODD 2310.01E [Department of Defense Directive, The Department of Defense Detainee Program] requires that all DOD [Department of Defense] personnel and contractors will apply, without regard to a detainee’s legal status, at a minimum, the standards articulated in Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 …
Article 3 Common to the Geneva Convention of 1949
In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
… An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. III-11–III-12.
In a chapter on “Roles and Responsibilities”, the manual states:
Commander, Detainee Operations
… The CDO will have the following responsibilities:
… Coordinate all International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visits, and ensure the command responds as necessary to ICRC concerns. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. II-3–II-4.
The manual also states:
Detainee Categories
The DOD [Department of Defense] definition of the word “detainee” includes any person captured, detained, or otherwise under the control of DOD personnel (military, civilian, or contractor employee) … It does not include persons being held primarily for law enforcement purposes except where the United States is the occupying power …
a. Enemy Combatant. In general, a person engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners during an armed conflict. The term “enemy combatant” includes both “lawful enemy combatants” and “unlawful enemy combatants.”
b. Enemy Prisoner of War. Individual under the custody and/or control of the DOD according to Articles 4 and 5 of the … [1949 Geneva Convention III].
c. Retained Personnel … Personnel who fall into the following categories: official medical personnel of the armed forces exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport, or treatment of wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, and staff exclusively engaged in the administration of medical units and facilities; chaplains attached to enemy armed forces; staff of national Red Cross Societies and that of other volunteer aid societies duly recognized and authorized by their governments to assist medical service personnel of their own armed forces, provided they are exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of, the wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, and provided that the staff of such societies are subject to military laws and regulations.
d. Civilian Internee … A civilian who is interned during an armed conflict, occupation, or other military operation for security reasons, for protection, or because he or she has committed an offense against the detaining power. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. I-3–I-5; see also pp. viii and GL-3.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states:
- [ICRC delegates] must be able to have access to all prisoners or detainees and speak to them freely and without witness;
- they must have access to all places of detention and be allowed to repeat visits;
- they must be given lists of all persons to be visited (or able to draw up such lists on the spot). 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 19.
The Code of Conduct also states: “As a State party to the [1949] Geneva Conventions … your country is bound by these treaties … The States party to the Geneva Conventions pledge to … [a]uthorize ICRC delegates to visit detainees and talk to them in private.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, pp. 14–16.
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Law on Combating the Financing of Terrorism (2004) states:
When the public prosecutor’s office receives [a] request [for cooperation] from a State that has established its jurisdiction over the offence, it shall make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the person detained under this law may be visited by a representative from the International [Committee of the] Red Cross. 
Afghanistan, Law on Combating the Financing of Terrorism, 2004, Article 19(2).
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 56, 125 and 126 of the Geneva Convention III and Articles 76, 96, 142 and 143 of the Geneva Convention IV, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Japan
Japan’s Law concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations (2004) states:
Article 80
(1) The prisoner-of-war camp commander shall, in cases where any of the persons listed in the following items request to visit detainees, permit detainees to receive the visit. In this case, no staff member of the prisoner-of-war camp attends a visit for a detainee:
(i) Representatives of protecting powers;
(ii) Representatives of the designated Red Cross International Organization.
Article 82
(1) The Minister of Defence may order the prisoner-of-war camp commander … to restrict or suspend the visits prescribed in the provision [contained in] the preceding two Articles, when the Minister of Defence finds it extremely necessary to do so …
(2) The Minister of Defence shall, when he/she finds the restriction or suspension of visits set forth in the preceding paragraph has become unnecessary, order immediately the prisoner-of-war camp commander to terminate such rescission or suspension of the visits. 
Japan, Law concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations, 2004, Articles 80(1)(i) and (ii) and 82(1) and (2).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(a).
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Organic Law concerning Transfer of Cases to the Republic of Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and from Other States (2007) provides:
Article: 23 Detention
Any person who is transferred to Rwanda by the ICTR [International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda] for trial shall be detained in accordance with the minimum standards of detention stipulated in the United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of all Persons under any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December, 1998.
The International Committee of the Red Cross or an observer appointed by the President of the ICTR shall have the right to inspect the conditions of detention of persons transferred to Rwanda by the ICTR and held in detention. The International Committee of the Red Cross or the observer appointed by the ICTR shall submit a confidential report based on the findings of these inspections to the Minister in charge of Justice of Rwanda and to the President of the ICTR. 
Rwanda, Organic Law concerning Transfer of Cases to the Republic of Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and from Other States, 2007, Article 23.
Article One: Definitions of terms
For the purpose of this Law, the following terms shall mean as follows:
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
A commander who causes serious harm to lawful enemy belligerents who have fallen into his power … by not according them the treatment prescribed by law or by international agreements … shall be punished, unless the act constitutes a more serious offence, by military confinement for not less than three years. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 382.
South Africa
South Africa’s State of Emergency Act (1997) states:
PREAMBLE
WHEREAS section 37 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996), provides that a state of emergency may be declared only in terms of an Act of Parliament, and only when the life of the nation is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency and the declaration is necessary to restore peace and order;
Emergency regulations
2. …
(4) Regulations governing the detention of persons shall provide for such international humanitarian organisations as may be recognised by the Republic to have access to persons detained under such regulations in order to monitor the circumstances under which such persons are detained. 
South Africa, State of Emergency Act, 1997, Preamble and Section 2(4).
South Africa
South Africa’s Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states: “A protected prisoner of war who is in the custody of the South African National Defence Force must be granted the protection of the [1949] Third [Geneva] Convention or the [1949] Fourth [Geneva] Convention, as the case may be.” 
South Africa, Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 12(2).
The Act defines a “protected prisoner of war” as a “person protected by the Third Convention or a person who is protected as a prisoner of war under [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I”. 
South Africa, Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act, 2012, Section 1.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Geneva Conventions Act (2006) includes the following provisions from the 1949 Geneva Convention IV:
ARTICLE 142
Subject to the measures which the Detaining Powers may consider essential to ensure their security or to meet any other reasonable need, the representatives of religious organizations, relief societies, or any other organizations assisting the protected persons, shall receive from these Powers, for themselves or their duly accredited agents, all facilities for visiting the protected persons, for distributing relief supplies and material from any source, intended for educational, recreational or religious purposes, or for assisting them in organizing their leisure time within the places of internment. Such societies or organizations may be constituted in the territory of the Detaining Power, or in any other country, or they may have an international character.
The Detaining Power may limit the number of societies and organizations whose delegates are allowed to carry out their activities in its territory and under its supervision, on condition, however, that such limitation shall not hinder the supply of effective and adequate relief to all protected persons.
The special position of the International Committee of the Red Cross in this field shall be recognized and respected at all times.
ARTICLE 143
Representatives or delegates of the Protecting Power shall have permission to go to all places where protected persons are, particularly to places of internment, detention and work.
They shall have access to all premises occupied by protected persons and shall be able to interview the latter without witnesses, personally or through an interpreter.
Such visits may not be prohibited except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and then only as an exceptional and temporary measure. Their duration and frequency shall not be restricted.
Such representatives and delegates shall have full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. The Detaining or Occupying Power, the Protecting Power and when occasion arises the Power of origin of the persons to be visited, may agree that compatriots of the internees shall be permitted to participate in the visits.
The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross shall also enjoy the above prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates shall be submitted to the approval of the Power governing the territories where they will carry out their duties. 
Sri Lanka, Geneva Conventions Act, 2006, Schedule IV: Articles 142-143.
The Act also includes the following provision from the 1949 Geneva Convention III:
Representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have permission to go to all places where prisoners of war may be, particularly to places of internment, imprisonment and labour, and shall have access to all premises occupied by prisoners of war; they shall also be allowed to go to the places of departure, passage and arrival of prisoners who are being transferred. They shall be able to interview the prisoners, and in particular the prisoners representatives, without witnesses, either personally or through an interpreter.
Representatives and delegates of the Protecting Powers shall have full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. The duration and frequency of these visits shall not be restricted. Visits may not be prohibited except for reasons of imperative military necessity, and then only as an exceptional and temporary measure.
The Detaining Power and the Power on which the said prisoners of war depend may agree, if necessary, that compatriots of these prisoners of war be permitted to participate in the visits.
The delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross shall enjoy the same prerogatives. The appointment of such delegates shall be submitted to the approval of the Power detaining the prisoners of war to be visited. 
Sri Lanka, Geneva Conventions Act, 2006, Schedule III: Article 126.
United States of America
In 2009, the US President issued Executive Order 13491, Ensuring Lawful Interrogations, which stated:
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, in order to improve the effectiveness of human intelligence-gathering, to promote the safe, lawful, and humane treatment of individuals in United States custody and of United States personnel who are detained in armed conflicts, to ensure compliance with the treaty obligations of the United States, including the [1949] Geneva Conventions, and to take care that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed, I hereby order as follows:
Section 1. Revocation. Executive Order 13440 of July 20, 2007, is revoked. All executive directives, orders, and regulations inconsistent with this order, including but not limited to those issued to or by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from September 11, 2001, to January 20, 2009, concerning detention or the interrogation of detained individuals, are revoked to the extent of their inconsistency with this order. Heads of departments and agencies shall take all necessary steps to ensure that all directives, orders, and regulations of their respective departments or agencies are consistent with this order.
Sec. 4. Prohibition of Certain Detention Facilities, and Red Cross Access to Detained Individuals.
(b) International Committee of the Red Cross Access to Detained Individuals. All departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall provide the International Committee of the Red Cross with notification of, and timely access to, any individual detained in any armed conflict in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government or detained within a facility owned, operated, or controlled by a department or agency of the United States Government, consistent with Department of Defense regulations and policies. 
United States, Executive Order 13491, Ensuring Lawful Interrogations, 2009, Sections 1 and 4(b).
United States of America
The US National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (2009) provides for the following authorization:
Sec. 1039. Notification and Access of International Committee of the Red Cross With Respect to Detainees at Theater Internment Facility at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
(a) NOTIFICATION.—The head of a military service or department that has custody or effective control of the Theater Internment Facility at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, or of any individual detained at such facility, shall, upon the detention of any such individual at such facility, notify the International Committee of the Red Cross (referred to in this section as the “ICRC”) of such custody or effective control, as soon as practicable.
(b) ACCESS.—
(1) ICRC ACCESS.—The head of a military service or department with effective control of the Theater Internment Facility at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, shall—
(A) endeavor to ensure prompt ICRC access to any individual described in subsection (a) upon receipt by such head of an ICRC request to visit the detainee, pursuant to subsection (a); or
(B) if access to a such individual is temporarily denied as an exceptional measure, due to reasons of imperative military necessity, as soon thereafter as practicable, consistent with Article 126 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, done at Geneva on August 12, 1949 … but normally no later than the next regularly scheduled ICRC visit.
(2) PROTOCOLS AND AGREEMENTS.—Such access to the individual shall continue pursuant to ICRC protocols and agreements reached between the ICRC and the head of a military service or department with effective control over the Theater Internment Facility at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
(c) SCOPE OF ACCESS.—The ICRC shall be provided access, in accordance with this section, to those physical localities within the Theater Internment Facility at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, that are determined to be relevant to the treatment of an individual described in subsection (a), including the individual’s cell or room, interrogation facilities or rooms, hospital or related health care facilities or rooms, and recreation areas. The scope of access described in this subsection shall not be construed to apply to facilities other than the Theater Internment Facility at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
(d) EXCEPTION CONSISTENT WITH THE GENEVA CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR.—Consistent with Article 126 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, access by the ICRC to a detainee as provided for in subsections (b) and (c) may be temporarily denied, as an exceptional measure, for reasons of imperative military necessity. 
United States, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, 2009, Sec. 1039, p. 264.
Canada
In 2008, in the Amnesty International Canada case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed an application for judicial review on the basis of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with respect to persons detained by the Canadian Forces (CF) in Afghanistan and their transfer to Afghan authorities. The Federal Court stated:
[13] To assist in resolving this dispute in a timely and efficient manner, the parties have jointly agreed to have the issue of whether the Charter applies in the context [of] Canada’s military involvement in the armed conflict in Afghanistan determined on the basis of the following questions, pursuant to Rule 107(1) of the Federal Courts Rules:
1. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply during the armed conflict in Afghanistan to the detention of non-Canadians by the Canadian Forces or their transfer to Afghan authorities to be dealt with by those authorities?
2. If the answer to the above question is “NO” then would the Charter nonetheless apply if the Applicants were ultimately able to establish that the transfer of the detainees in question would expose them to a substantial risk of torture?
[16] For the reasons that follow, I have determined that the answer to both of the questions posed by the motion is “No”. As a result, the applicants’ application for judicial review must therefore be dismissed.
II. Background
[44] Even before the Afghan Compact was concluded, the governments of Canada and Afghanistan had signed a document outlining the nature of Canada’s involvement and powers within Afghanistan: see the “Technical Arrangements between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”, dated December 18, 2005.
[47] The Technical Arrangements further provide that:
Canadian personnel may need to use force (including deadly force) to ensure the accomplishment of their operational objectives, the safety of the deployed force, including designated persons, designated property, and designated locations. Such measures could include the use of close air support, firearms or other weapons; the detention of persons; and the seizure of arms and other materiel. Detainees would be afforded the same treatment as Prisoners of War. Detainees would be transferred to Afghan authorities in a manner consistent with international law and subject to negotiated assurances regarding their treatment and transfer. …
[59] Theatre Standing Order 321A further provides that while in Canadian custody, detainees are to be “treated fairly and humanely” in accordance with “applicable international law and CF Doctrine”.
IV. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply during the armed conflict in Afghanistan to the detention of non-Canadians by the Canadian forces or their transfer to Afghan authorities to be dealt with by those authorities?
[162] Insofar as the relationship between the Governments of Afghanistan and Canada is concerned, the two countries have expressly identified international law, including international humanitarian law, as the law governing the treatment of detainees in Canadian custody.
[166] … [I]n relation to the treatment of detainees, Article 1.2 of the Technical Arrangements provides that detainees are to be afforded “the same treatment as Prisoners of War”, and are to be transferred to Afghan authorities “in a manner consistent with international law and subject to negotiated assurances regarding their treatment and transfer.” …
[179] The understanding between the Governments of Afghanistan and Canada that Afghan and international law are the legal regimes to be applied to the detainees in Canadian custody is also reflected in Canadian documents dealing with the treatment of detainees.
[180] In particular, Task Force Afghanistan’s Theatre Standing Order 321A recognizes international law as the appropriate standard governing the treatment of detainees. In this regard, Article 3 states that it is Canadian Forces policy that all detainees be treated to the standard required for prisoners of war, which it describes as being the highest standard required under international law.
[181] Moreover, Article 18 of TSO 321A provides that while in Canadian custody, detainees are to be “treated fairly and humanely” in accordance with “applicable international law and CF Doctrine”. …
VI. Conclusion
[336] … [A] number of concerns … flow from the Court’s finding that the Charter does not apply in the circumstances of this case.
[337] As was noted by Justice Binnie in Hape, the content of human rights protections provided by international law is weaker, and their scope more debatable than Charter guarantees …
[338] Moreover, the enforcement mechanisms for those standards may not be as robust as those available under the Charter, and have even been described as “rather gentle” …
[342] That said, the Supreme Court of Canada has carefully considered the scope of the Charter’s extraterritorial reach in R. v. Hape, and has concluded that its reach is indeed very limited. Applying the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Hape to the facts of this case leads to the conclusion that the Charter does not apply to the actions of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan in issue here.
[343] Before concluding, it must be noted that the finding that the Charter does not apply does not leave detainees in a legal “no-man’s land”, with no legal rights or protections. The detainees have the rights conferred on them by the Afghan Constitution. In addition, whatever their limitations may be, the detainees also have the rights conferred on them by international law, and, in particular, by international humanitarian law. 
Canada, Federal Court, Amnesty International Canada case, Judgment, 12 March 2008, §§ 13, 16, 44, 47, 59, 162, 166, 179–181, 336–338 and 342–343.
[emphasis in original]
The Federal Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the findings of the Federal Court. It stated:
I conclude that the motions judge made no errors in answering the way she did the two questions that were before her. The Charter has no application to the situations therein described. There is no legal vacuum, considering that the applicable law is international humanitarian law. 
Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Amnesty International Canada case, Judgment, 17 December 2008, § 36.
Israel
In its judgment in the Marab case in 2003, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
Even if meetings with lawyers are prevented, this does not justify the claim that the detainee is isolated from the outside world. It is sufficient to note that when the detainees are moved to the detention facility, which occurs within 48 hours of their detention during warfare, they have the right to be visited by the Red Cross, and their families are informed of their whereabouts. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Mar’ab case, Judgment, 5 February 2003, § 46.
Sri Lanka
In 2010, in its judgment in the Sivalingam case, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka stated: “During his incarceration at the CID [Criminal Investigations Department] Headquarters, the Petitioner was visited by officers of the International Committee of the Red Cross … on two separate occasions.” 
Sri Lanka, Supreme Court, Sivalingam case, Judgment, 10 November 2010, p. 9.
Afghanistan
In 1982 and 1987, the Government in Afghanistan allowed the ICRC to conduct visits to prisoners according to its criteria, but occasionally revoked that permission. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1449, Afghanistan: the ICRC is authorized to visit prisoners, 27 August 1982; Press Release No. 1531, Resumption of ICRC Activities in Afghanistan, 3 February 1987.
Afghanistan
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “Afghan Human Rights Commission and ICRC can have regular access to Bagram prison inmates”, which stated:
[T]he chief of the [Afghan] military police, responsible for the handover[,] briefed the President on the proceedings of the handover from the American forces to the Afghans that took place on Monday as per the government’s decision.
The President once again directed with emphasis the relevant authorities to make sure that all Afghan applicable laws and human rights standards are respected in the prison and to also fully facilitate, upon request, regular access to [the] prison by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 
Afghanistan, Office of the President, “Afghan Human Rights Commission and ICRC can have regular access to Bagram prison inmates”, Press Release, 11 September 2012.
Canada
In 2005, in response to a question concerning respect for the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Canada’s Minister of National Defence stated:
[I]f we take prisoners in Afghanistan, some are released immediately because they are of no interest whatsoever. Any who are kept, because of suspicion of being involved in terrorist or other activity, are treated by Canada and by our Canadian troops in accordance with all standards of humanitarian and international law. When they are then turned over to either Afghan or American authorities, the Red Cross is notified in accordance with conventions so it can take the inspections. Members of the House have heard the assurances of the American government and others that prisoners will be properly treated in accordance with humanitarian standards. 
Canada, House of Commons Debates, Statement by the Minister of National Defence, 30 September 2005, Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 2006, volume XLIV, p. 646.
Canada
In 2006, in response to a question concerning an agreement signed by Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff with the Government of Afghanistan relating to the transfer of prisoners, Canada’s Minister of National Defence stated that “[t]he Red Cross and the Red Crescent are charged with ensuring that prisoners are not abused” and that “[t]here is nothing in the agreement that prevents Canada from determining the fate of prisoners”. 
House of Commons Debates, Statement by the Canadian Minister of National Defence, 5 April 2006, Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 2006, volume XLIV, p. 647.
Canada
In 2007, in a report on “Canadian Forces in Afghanistan”, the Standing Committee on National Defence of Canada’s House of Commons noted:
The agreement acknowledges the right of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit detainees at any time during their custody and an obligation for both parties to notify the ICRC upon transferring a detainee, in accordance with their obligations pursuant to international law. It also establishes a commitment that persons transferred from the Canadian Forces to Afghan authorities will not be subject to the application of the death penalty. Finally, it features recognition, by both parties, of the legitimate role of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) with regard to the treatment of detainees. Canada notifies the ICRC in a timely manner each time a detainee transfer occurs and Canada also notifies ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] of any detainees transferred. The information shared with NATO is similar to that provided to the ICRC. 
Canada, House of Commons, Report of the Standing Committee on National Defence, Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, 39th Parliament, 1st session, June 2007, p. 103.
Canada
In 2007, in a joint letter from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, addressed to the Government of Afghanistan, regarding third-party access to transferred detainees, it was stated:
Access to Afghan facilities is to be permitted to organizations that are already afforded access under that government’s bilateral arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan including, where applicable, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), relevant human rights institutions within the UN system, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). 
Canada, Letter regarding access to detainees transferred to the Government of Afghanistan, signed by Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and the Chargé d’affaires of Denmark, 27 August 2007, p. 1.
Chile
In 1989, in a statement before the Human Rights Committee, Chile reported that Red Cross delegates had been able to visit all detainees including those held incommunicado. 
Chile, Statement before the Human Rights Committee, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SR.943, 6 November 1989, § 42.
Denmark
In 2007, in a joint letter from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, addressed to the Government of Afghanistan, regarding third-party access to transferred detainees, it was stated:
Access to Afghan facilities is to be permitted to organizations that are already afforded access under that government’s bilateral arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan including, where applicable, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), relevant human rights institutions within the UN system, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). 
Denmark, Letter regarding access to detainees transferred to the Government of Afghanistan, signed by Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and the Chargé d’affaires of Denmark, 27 August 2007, p. 1.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for Ninth Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “Protection of prisoners”, stated:
Visiting prisons: IHL provides that neutral humanitarian organizations, such as the ICRC, visit the prisoners in prisons and camps where they are held and supervise their treatment. After having visited the prisoners, the ICRC makes recommendations to the relevant authorities. Such reports and conclusions remain confidential and shall be discussed only with the responsible authorities. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 222.
The ministry also stated: “IHL grants humanitarian [actors] the right to visit prisoners, to provide them with care and ensure that their rights are respected.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 223.
El Salvador
In 1983, in a statement before the Human Rights Committee, El Salvador reported that an agreement had been signed by the Salvadoran Government to enable the ICRC to be notified of the detention of prisoners and to visit and interview them with a doctor and without government witnesses. 
El Salvador, Statement before the Human Rights Committee, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SR.468, 31 October 1983, § 37.
In 1987, it emphasized that the ICRC was informed of arrests and could visit detainees in any detention centre whatsoever. 
El Salvador, Statement before the Human Rights Committee, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SR.719, 2 April 1987, § 3.
France
According to the Report on the Practice of France, access to prisoner camps, wherever they are, must be granted, in particular to the ICRC, to allow it to monitor the conditions of detention and bring humanitarian aid. 
Report on the Practice of France, 1999, Chapter 5.3.
Germany
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany expressed its full support for the ongoing efforts of the ICRC to gain access to detainees. 
Germany, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3564, 10 August 1995, p. 4.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The operational order confirmed that … ICRC staff were to be provided with as much freedom of movement and activity as possible, unless imperative military necessity required its limitation.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 224.
Lebanon
The Lebanese authorities have permitted the ICRC to visit detained persons on several occasions, in accordance with ICRC procedures. 
ICRC, Annual Report 1990, Geneva, 1991, p. 84.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [w]here vessels were captured, the protections provided in the Second and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 and [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I continued to apply to the persons on board the vessels.  
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Nepal
In 2004, in a declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Prime Minister of Nepal stated: “HMG [His Majesty’s Government] will continue to provide cooperation to the ICRC, including access to all places of detention.” 
Nepal, Declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, 26 March 2004, § 22.
Nepal
In 2007, in its comments to the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, Nepal wrote:
Recommendation, [paragraph] 24 … [in which the Committee against torture, having noted the difficult situation of armed conflict faced by Nepal, expressed concern inter alia about deaths in custody and disappearances]
21. … the representatives of the International Committee of Red Cross are allowed unhindered access to visit the prisons and places of detention.
36. The historic Comprehensive [Peace] Agreement [CPA] signed between the Government of Nepal Communist Party (Maoist) on 21 November 2006 has effectively ended the ten year long conflict. This has resulted in the fundamental improvement in the overall human rights situation in Nepal. 
Nepal, Comments by the Government of Nepal to the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture, 29 January 2008, UN Doc. CAT/C/NPL/CO/2/Add.1, submitted 1 June 2007, §§ 21 and 36.
Netherlands
In 2007, in a joint letter from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark addressed to the Government of Afghanistan regarding third-party access to transferred detainees, it was stated:
Access to Afghan facilities is to be permitted to organizations that are already afforded access under that government’s bilateral arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan including, where applicable, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), relevant human rights institutions within the UN system, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). 
Netherlands, Letter regarding access to detainees transferred to the Government of Afghanistan, signed by Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and the Chargé d’affaires of Denmark, 27 August 2007, p. 1.
Norway
In 2007, in a joint letter from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, addressed to the Government of Afghanistan, regarding third-party access to transferred detainees, it was stated:
Access to Afghan facilities is to be permitted to organizations that are already afforded access under that government’s bilateral arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan including, where applicable, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), relevant human rights institutions within the UN system, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). 
Norway, Letter regarding access to detainees transferred to the Government of Afghanistan, signed by Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and the Chargé d’affaires of Denmark, 27 August 2007, p. 1.
Oman
In 1995, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oman stated that it was unacceptable to the international community that neither the UN nor the ICRC had been granted access in order to establish the whereabouts of detainees. 
Oman, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3564, 10 August 1995, p. 5.
Peru
In 2006, during the consideration of the fourth periodic report of Peru before the Committee against Torture, a representative of Peru stated that the Peruvian “Government … [allows] systematic visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to places of detention, including those where persons convicted of terrorist offences … [are] held.” 
Peru, Statement before the Committee against Torture during the consideration of the fourth periodic report of Peru, 9 May 2006, UN Doc. CAT/C/SR. 697 § 39.
Russian Federation
In May 2000, visits to detainees in Northern Caucasus began after the ICRC received formal authorization from the President of the Russian Federation granting access to “all persons held in connection with security operations” in Chechnya. The ICRC carried out visits to detainees held under the responsibility of the Ministries of Justice and the Interior and the Federal Security Service. 
ICRC, Annual Report 2000, Geneva, 2001, p. 168.
Rwanda
In 1990, in a speech following the arrest of 2,500–3,000 persons on suspicion of collaboration with the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), the President of Rwanda declared: “The ICRC … had already visited all our prisons, according to its methods, … without any impediment whatsoever, … and in accordance with international agreements.” 
Rwanda, Speech by the President, 15 October 1990, p. 6.
Serbia
In 2006, in its initial report to the Committee against Torture, Serbia stated that, in respect of persons deprived of their liberty, “the International Committee of the Red Cross also had insight into [their] concrete situations. It made 215 visits from 1999 to December 2002.” 
Serbia, Initial report to the Committee against Torture, 8 February 2007, UN Doc. CAT/C/SRB/1, submitted 3 May 2006, as amended by CAT/C/SRB/2/Corr.1, 23 September 2008, § 168.
Sri Lanka
In 2009, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
20. Under section 37 of the Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 of Sri Lanka, a person arrested under … normal circumstances would be detained in … police custody for [a] maximum of 24 hrs.
21. Persons arrested under Emergency Regulations and Prevention of Terrorism Act, for certain offences could be detained up to [a] maximum of one year, for investigation and interrogation purposes …
22. However, the court closely monitors the investigation and other activities of the police in connection with persons arrested under any law. … Opportunities are … given to them [persons arrested] to meet independent monitoring bodies such as [the] ICRC to whom they could make their complaints, if any.
88. With regard to two specific cases raised by the Special Rapporteur, relating to the Prison at Bogambara and the Terrorist Investigation Division, the Special Rapporteur was informed that disciplinary action was being taken in the first case and that, in relation to conditions of detention in the second, that the Division was being moved to a new location. The ICRC has been consulted as to international standards relating to space, ventilation and light available to detainees. 
Sri Lanka, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, 23 September 2010, UN Doc. CAT/C/LKA/3-4, submitted 17 August 2009, Annex, §§ 20–22 and 88.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
The role and duties of the ICRC in an Armed conflict are defined in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols. The ICRC’s most important tasks include visiting prisoners, …
Prisoners of war
The conditions of detention, and use as a workforce, are regulated by the Third Geneva Convention. Prisoners of war have the right to be visited by delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 25 and 34.
[emphasis in original]
Switzerland
In 2011, in answer to an interpellation in Parliament, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “The representatives of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs do not fail to regularly remind the de facto authorities in Gaza of their international obligations, notably as concerns the right of the ICRC to visit the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.” 
Switzerland, Answer by the Federal Council to interpellation 10.3991 in Parliament regarding the right of Gilad Shalit to receive visits from the ICRC, 16 February 2011.
Uganda
In 2003, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Uganda stated:
325. The Prisons Act and the Rules made under it provide for visiting Justices to inspect Prisons to which they are appointed, at regular intervals. A visiting Justice may inspect all wards, cells and rooms to assess the living conditions and physical facilities of the prisons and prisoners. They are also supposed to hear complaints from Prisoners.
326. There are other bodies which have a supervisory role on prisons. These include the Red Cross Societies. 
Uganda, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 14 February 2003, UN Doc. CCPR/C/UGA/2003/1, 25 February 2003, §§ 325–326.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United Kingdom stated:
On 19 January [1991] the Iraqi Ambassador was asked whether the Iraqi Government was holding any British prisoners of war and reminded of Iraq’s obligations under the Third Geneva Convention to … arrange access by the ICRC. The Iraqi Ambassador gave an assurance that any British prisoners of war would be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions … The British Government has made clear to the Iraqi Ambassador … [that] the British Government will be allowing full access by the ICRC both to Iraqi prisoners of war and to Iraqi citizens detained in the United Kingdom. 
United Kingdom, Letter dated 21 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22117, 21 January 1991, p. 1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United Kingdom reported:
[W]e have made the strongest representations again to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the representatives of which have been here seeking access to Iraqis who have been detained to ensure that they are receiving proper treatment. They were naturally granted access and we gave them every opportunity, to which they are entitled, to visit Iraqis to see whether they are receiving proper treatment. We have insisted that similar facilities must be available to representatives of the International Red Cross in Baghdad. 
United Kingdom, Letter dated 28 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22156, 28 January 1991, p. 2; see also Letter dated 13 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/2221, 13 February 1991, p. 2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2004, in a reply to a question concerning detainees in Iraq, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated: “Coalition internment facilities are subject to regular inspection by the ICRC who are given full and unrestricted access to the internees.” 
United Kingdom, Foreign Policy Aspects of the War Against Terrorism: Response of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Cm 6162, 29 March 2004, § 3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2004, in a reply to a question concerning detainees in Iraq, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated:
The prison conditions are in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. All internees are informed of the reason for their detention as stipulated by the fourth Geneva Convention. The ICRC has full, uninhibited access to all internees, and regularly reports to the military authorities. Our relationship with the ICRC is excellent. 
United Kingdom, Letter to the Clerk from the Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 24 June 2004, published in House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Foreign Policy Aspects of the War Against Terrorism: Seventh Report of the Session 2003–04, Vol. II: Oral and Written Evidence, HC 441-II.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2004, in a written answer to a question concerning, inter alia, the position of the UK Government on ICRC access to detention facilities in Afghanistan, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
We understand the ICRC has had access to Afghan government prisons and to US detention facilities in Bagram and Kandahar. The UK welcomes this access, and calls for the ICRC to be given full access to detention facilities throughout Afghanistan. ICRC reports on detainees are, however, strictly confidential between the ICRC and the country concerned. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 14 October 2004, Vol. 425, Written Answers, col. 360W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2006, in a written answer to a question in the House of Commons concerning, inter alia, reports received from the International Committee of the Red Cross relating to Iraq, the UK Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
It is customary international practice for reports from the ICRC on security detention to remain confidential between the ICRC and the detaining power. We believe it is important to maintain that policy of confidentially so as to, inter alia, encourage the free and frank exchange of views about detention in all locations where ICRC carry out their valuable work. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 3 May 2006, Vol. 445, Written Answers, col. 1654W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2006, in its response to a report by the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, the UK Government stated:
Under the terms of the MOU agreed between the UK and the Afghan Government, representatives of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and International Committee of the Red Cross will have full access to any persons transferred by the UK Armed Forces to Afghan authorities whilst such persons are in custody, as will the UK. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons Defence Committee, The UK deployment to Afghanistan: Government Response to the Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2005–06, HC 1211, 5 June 2006, para. 36.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2006, in reply to a question in the House of Lords concerning “recent discussions … with the Government of Israel regarding their detention of over 7,000 Palestinians, many of them detained for lengthy periods without trial”, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
According to the IPS [Israel Prison Service], 6,223 security prisoners (those convicted by Israeli courts of terrorism-related crimes) were being held in IPS facilities in May 2006. A further 1,656 were being held awaiting trial. According to the IPS, security detainees are allowed family visits and are given medical and dental care. The International Committee of the Red Cross regularly visits IPS facilities and makes recommendations on conditions inside Israeli prisons to the Israeli authorities. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 10 July 2006, Vol. 684, Written Answers, col. WA91.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2007, in a written answer to a question in the House of Commons concerning detainees in Iraq, the UK Secretary of State for Defence stated: “The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has regular and open access to our detention facility and all our internees.” 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 19 February 2007, Vol. 457, Written Answers, col. 303W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2007, in a joint letter from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark, addressed to the Government of Afghanistan, regarding third-party access to transferred detainees, it was stated:
Access to Afghan facilities is to be permitted to organizations that are already afforded access under that government’s bilateral arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan including, where applicable, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), relevant human rights institutions within the UN system, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). 
United Kingdom, Letter regarding access to detainees transferred to the Government of Afghanistan, signed by Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and the Chargé d’affaires of Denmark, 27 August 2007, p. 1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, the UK Secretary of State for Defence set out the Ministry of Defence Strategic Detention Policy, stating:
1.2 This Policy Statement, which is to be observed whenever UK Armed Forces undertake detention in an operation theatre reflects the importance which I attach to ensuring the humane treatment of those it is necessary to detain in the course of our operations.
1.3 This is essential to ensure that we uphold our international obligations, to promote the legitimacy of an operation internationally and amongst the British public and to maximise support within the country where operations take place. …
2.1 This policy applies across the MOD and the Armed Forces and to all detention activities undertaken in military theatres of operation. It sets out the minimum standards which must be applied. All members of the Armed Forces, civilian employees and others (including contractors) who are involved with operational detention must comply with it. …
3.1 I require the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces to:
h. Where appropriate, provide information and access to facilities to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as fully and rapidly as practicable, and permit Detained Persons unfettered correspondence with the ICRC. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Strategic Detention Policy, Policy Statement by the Secretary of State for Defence, March 2010, §§ 1.2–1.3, 2.1 and 3.1(h).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, in its closing submissions to the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Baha Mousa and the treatment of those detained with him by UK armed forces in Iraq in 2003, the UK Ministry of Defence stated regarding common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions: “On its face this protection is restricted to armed conflicts not of an international character. However, it is understood to apply in all forms of armed conflict as part of customary international law to set out the irreducible minimum standard.”  
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Closing Submissions to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry on Modules 1–3, 25 June 2010, § 10.2, p. 10.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, in a written answer to a question in the House of Commons, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs stated that “we continue to call for Hamas to unconditionally release [the Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit and … we consider it utterly unacceptable that he is denied International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access.” 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 29 November 2010, Vol. 519, Written Answers, col. 555W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, the UK Army Inspector examined and assessed the implementation of policy, training and conduct of detainee handling by UK armed forces on operations. The Army Inspector’s final report states with regard to UK-run detention facilities in Afghanistan: “Detention facilities are open to third party inspection by the International Committee of the Red Cross.” 
United Kingdom, Army Inspectorate Review into the Implementation of Policy, Training and Conduct of Detainee Handling, Final Report by the Army Inspector, File Ref. CGS/ArmyInsp/DH/01, 15 July 2010, § 8(c), p. 10; see also § 7(c),p. 6.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support the principle … that the ICRC and the relevant Red Cross or Red Crescent organizations be granted all necessary facilities and access to enable them to carry out their humanitarian functions.” 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 428.
United States of America
In 1991, in a diplomatic note to Iraq concerning operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated that it expected “the Government of Iraq … to provide the International Committee of the Red Cross with access to prisoners of war as will be done by the United States”. 
United States, Department of State, Diplomatic Note to Iraq, Washington, 19 January 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22122, Annex I, p. 2; see also Annex III, p. 4.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated:
The coalition forces are granting ICRC timely access to all Iraqi prisoners of war. Iraqi authorities have continued to ignore the standards of the Geneva conventions in blatant disregard for international law. They have denied access to coalition prisoners of war by ICRC. 
United States, Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 2; see also Letter dated 22 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22130, 22 January 1991.
United States of America
In August 2003, the US State Department issued a written response to an opinion issued by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), dated 8 May 2003, that had referred to a UNCHR Working Group report on Arbitrary Detention, dated 8 January 2003, which was critical of US policy regarding detainees held at the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In disagreeing with the UNCHR reports, and noting that the competence of the Working Group did not extend to the laws and customs of war, the US response stated that “[t]he detainees are not being held incommunicado. Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (‘ICRC’) have visited detainees individually and privately”. 
United States, State Department, Response to UNCHR Opinion No. 5/2003 of 8 May 2003 and the Communication of 8 January 2003 of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, August 2003.
United States of America
On 25 August 2004, the report of an investigation into allegations that members of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade had been involved in detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib Detention Facility (an investigation ordered by the Commander, Combined Joint Task Force Seven (CJTF-7), and later supplemented with the appointment of an additional and more senior investigating officer by the Commander, US Army Materiel Command), was completed and forwarded to the ordering authorities. The report, authored by Lieutenant General Anthony R. Jones and Major General George R. Fay, found:
Finding: There was neither a defined procedure nor specific responsibility within CJTF-7 for dealing with ICRC visits. ICRC recommendations were ignored by MI [Military Intelligence], MP [Military Police] and CJTF-7 personnel.
Explanation: Within this investigation’s timeframe, 16 September 2003 through 31 January 2004, the ICRC visited Abu Ghraib three times, notifying CJTF-7 twice of their visit results, describing serious violations of international Humanitarian Law and of the Geneva Conventions. In spite of the ICRC’s role as independent observers, there seemed to be a consensus among personnel at Abu Ghraib that the allegations were not true. Neither the leadership, nor CJTF-7 made any attempt to verify the allegations.
Recommendation: DoD [Department of Defense] should review current policy concerning ICRC visits and establish procedures whereby findings and recommendations made by the ICRC are investigated. Investigation should not be done by the units responsible for the facility in question. Specific procedures and responsibilities should be developed for ICRC visits, reports, and responses. There also needs to be specific inquiries made into ICRC allegations of abuse or maltreatment by an independent entity to ensure that an unbiased review has occurred. 
United States, Department of Defense, AR 15-6 Investigation of the Abu Ghraib Prison and 205th Military Intelligence Brigade (The Fay Report), 25 August 2004.
United States of America
In March 2006, the US Government issued a written response to a report produced by a group of five special rapporteurs to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, dated 16 February 2006, which was critical of US policy regarding detainees held at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The US Government’s response stated in part:
The law of armed conflict governs the conduct of armed conflict and related detention operations, and permits lawful and unlawful enemy combatants to be detained until the end of active hostilities without charges, trial, or access to counsel.
• Combatants may be detained to prevent them from taking up arms against the United States.
• This is the principal reason for Guantánamo detention, an important point which the Report questions and disregards.
• It is also the reason why the United States has given the International Committee of the Red Cross, rather than human rights rapporteurs, unimpeded access to the detainees at Guantánamo. 
United States, Reply of the Government of the United States of America to the Report of the Five UNCHR Special Rapporteurs on Detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 10 March 2006, p. 11.
United States of America
In September 2006, the US President spoke before an invited audience at the White House to announce the creation of new military commissions to try suspected terrorists, during which he also announced the transfer of 14 detainees from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) detention program (thus publicly revealing that such a program existed) into military custody:
Most of the enemy combatants we capture are held in Afghanistan or in Iraq, where they’re questioned by our military personnel. Many are released after questioning, or turned over to local authorities – if we determine that they do not pose a continuing threat and no longer have significant intelligence value. Others remain in American custody near the battlefield, to ensure that they don’t return to the fight.
In some cases, we determine that individuals we have captured pose a significant threat, or may have intelligence that we and our allies need to have to prevent new attacks. Many are al Qaeda operatives or Taliban fighters trying to conceal their identities, and they withhold information that could save American lives. In these cases, it has been necessary to move these individuals to an environment where they can be held secretly [sic], questioned by experts, and – when appropriate – prosecuted for terrorist acts.
[I]n addition to the terrorists held at Guantánamo, a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war have been held and questioned outside the United States, in a separate program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency. This group includes individuals believed to be the key architects of the September the 11th attacks, and attacks on the USS Cole, an operative involved in the bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and individuals involved in other attacks that have taken the lives of innocent civilians across the world. These are dangerous men with unparalleled knowledge about terrorist networks and their plans for new attacks. The security of our nation and the lives of our citizens depend on our ability to learn what these terrorists know.
Many specifics of this program, including where these detainees have been held and the details of their confinement, cannot be divulged. Doing so would provide our enemies with information they could use to take retribution against our allies and harm our country. I can say that questioning the detainees in this program has given us information that has saved innocent lives by helping us stop new attacks – here in the United States and across the world. Today, I’m going to share with you some of the examples provided by our intelligence community of how this program has saved lives; why it remains vital to the security of the United States, and our friends and allies; and why it deserves the support of the United States Congress and the American people.
This program has been subject to multiple legal reviews by the Department of Justice and CIA lawyers; they’ve determined it complied with our laws. This program has received strict oversight by the CIA’s Inspector General.
I’m announcing today that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and 11 other terrorists in CIA custody have been transferred to the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay. (Applause.) They are being held in the custody of the Department of Defense. As soon as Congress acts to authorize the military commissions I have proposed, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans on September the 11th, 2001, can face justice. (Applause.)
We’ll also seek to prosecute those believed to be responsible for the attack on the USS Cole, and an operative believed to be involved in the bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. With these prosecutions, we will send a clear message to those who kill Americans: No longer – how long it takes, we will find you and we will bring you to justice. (Applause.)
These men will be held in a high-security facility at Guantánamo. The International Committee of the Red Cross is being advised of their detention, and will have the opportunity to meet with them. Those charged with crimes will be given access to attorneys who will help them prepare their defense – and they will be presumed innocent. While at Guantánamo, they will have access to the same food, clothing, medical care, and opportunities for worship as other detainees. They will be questioned subject to the new U.S. Army Field Manual, which the Department of Defense is issuing today. And they will continue to be treated with the humanity that they denied others.
I know Americans have heard conflicting information about Guantánamo. Let me give you some facts. Of the thousands of terrorists captured across the world, only about 770 have ever been sent to Guantánamo. Of these, about 315 have been returned to other countries so far – and about 455 remain in our custody. They are provided the same quality of medical care as the American service members who guard them. The International Committee of the Red Cross has the opportunity to meet privately with all who are held there. The facility has been visited by government officials from more than 30 countries, and delegations from international organizations, as well. After the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe came to visit, one of its delegation members called Guantánamo “a model prison” where people are treated better than in prisons in his own country. 
United States, President George W. Bush, White House speech, President Discusses Creation of Military Commissions to Try Suspected Terrorists, 6 September 2006.
United States
In 2007, in a joint letter from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark addressed to the Government of Afghanistan regarding third-party access to transferred detainees, it was stated:
Access to Afghan facilities is to be permitted to organizations that are already afforded access under that government’s bilateral arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan including, where applicable, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), relevant human rights institutions within the UN system, and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). 
United States, Letter regarding access to detainees transferred to the Government of Afghanistan, signed by Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and the Chargé d’affaires of Denmark, 27 August 2007, p. 1.
United States of America
In 2007, in its comments on the Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations on its second and third periodic reports, the United States stated in response to a recommendation concerning ICRC access to detainees:
The United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaida, the Taliban, and their supporters. As part of this conflict, the United States captures and detains enemy combatants, and is entitled under the law of war to hold them until the end of hostilities. The law of war, and not the Covenant, is the applicable legal framework governing these detentions.
In certain rare cases, the United States moves enemy combatants to secret locations. As the President of the United States stated in a September 6, 2006 speech, “Questioning the detainees in this program has given us information that has saved innocent lives by helping us stop new attacks – here in the United States and across the world.” Under the law of war there is no legal obligation for the United States to provide ICRC notice and access to these enemy combatants who are held during the ongoing armed conflict with al Qaida, the Taliban, and their supporters.
All of the detainees who were in this secret interrogation program as of September 6, 2006, were moved to the Department of Defense detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. The ICRC has been notified and has access to these detainees, as they have to all detainees at Guantánamo. 
United States, Comments by the Government of the United States of America on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, 12 February 2008, UN Doc. CCPR/C/USA/CO/3/Rev.1/Add.1, submitted 1 November 2007, p. 3.
[footnote in original omitted]
United States of America
In 2009, in further comments on the Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations on its second and third periodic reports, the United States stated:
[O]n January 22, 2009, President Obama signed three executive orders relating to U.S. detention and interrogation policies broadly and the Guantánamo Bay detention facility specifically. … [One of these orders,] Executive Order 13491 (“Ensuring Lawful Interrogations”) … requires that “all departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall provide the International Committee of the Red Cross with notification of, and timely access to, any individual detained in any armed conflict in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government or detained within a facility owned, operated, or controlled by a department or agency of the United States Government, consistent with Department of Defense regulations and policies.” 
United States, Further comments by the Government of the United States of America on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, 24 September 2009, UN Doc. CCPR/C/USA/CO/3/Rev.1/Add.2, submitted 24 July 2009.
United States of America
In November 2010, in responding to the recommendations made by the Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of US human rights records, the US Department of State’s Legal Adviser stated:
Most of these recommendations referred to our country’s continuing armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and against Al Qaeda and associated forces. … The International Committee of the Red Cross has access to Guantánamo. 
United States, Statement by the Legal Adviser, US Department of State, before the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, 9 November 2010, p. 2.
Uruguay
In 1982, in a statement before the Human Rights Committee, Uruguay stated that even at the height of the crisis, the government had invited the ICRC to visit the prisons in which all subversives had been incarcerated and they had been able to interview the prisoners in private. 
Uruguay, Statement before the Human Rights Committee, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SR.355, 8 April 1982, § 10.
Yemen
In a press release issued in 1994, the ICRC noted that the parties to the internal conflict in Yemen had agreed to allow it to visit interned combatants. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1775, Yemen: ICRC active on both sides appeals to belligerents, 12 May 1994.
UN Security Council
In two resolutions adopted in 1992, the UN Security Council demanded that the relevant international humanitarian organizations, and in particular the ICRC, be granted immediate, unimpeded and continued access to camps, prisons and detention centres within the territory of the former Yugoslavia and appealed to the parties to the conflict to do all in their power to facilitate such access. 
UN Security Council, Res. 770, 13 August 1992, preamble; Res. 771, 13 August 1992, § 4, voting record: 12-0-3.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1994, the UN Security Council called for unhindered access by the ICRC to all persons detained by all parties to the conflict in Tajikistan. 
UN Security Council, Res. 968, 16 December 1994, § 10, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Security Council reminded the Government of Croatia of its responsibility to allow access by representatives of the ICRC to members of the local Serb forces detained by Croatian government forces. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1009, 10 August 1995, § 3, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Security Council demanded that the Bosnian Serb party permit representatives of the ICRC to visit and register any persons detained against their will, including any members of the forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1010, 10 August 1995, § 1, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1995 in the context of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council:
Reiterating its strong support for the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in seeking access to displaced persons and to persons detained or reported missing and condemning in the strongest possible terms the failure of the Bosnian Serb party to comply with their commitments in respect of such access,
2. Reaffirms its demand that … the Bosnian Serb party give immediate and unimpeded access to representatives of … the ICRC and other international agencies … to persons detained … and permit representatives of the ICRC (i) to visit and register any persons detained against their will, whether civilians or members of the forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1019, 9 November 1995, preamble and § 2, voting record: 15-0-0; see also Res. 1034, 21 December 1995, preamble and §§ 2–5, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1995, in a statement by its President, the UN Security Council reiterated its demand that the Bosnian Serb party permit representatives of the ICRC to visit and register any persons detained against their will, including any members of the forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1995/43, 7 September 1995.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1970 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly called upon all parties involved in armed conflicts to allow the ICRC to have access to prisoners of war and to all places of detention. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2676 (XXV), 9 December 1970, § 1, voting record: 67-30-20-10.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1992, the UN General Assembly:
Demands that the International Committee of the Red Cross be granted immediate, unimpeded and continued access to all camps, prisons and to other places of detention within the territory of the former Yugoslavia and that all parties ensure complete safety and freedom of movement for the International Committee and otherwise facilitate such access. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 46/242, 25 August 1992, § 9, voting record: 136-1-5-37; see also UN General Assembly, Res. 48/153, 20 December 1993, §§ 14–16, adopted without a vote; UN General Assembly, Res. 49/10, 3 November 1994, § 25, voting record: 97-0-61-26;and Res. 49/196, 23 December 1994, §§ 23–24, voting record: 150-0-14-21.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on the question of human rights in Afghanistan, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged the parties to the Afghan conflict to provide the ICRC with access to all prisoners. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1998/70, 21 April 1998, § 5(f), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the human rights situation of the Lebanese detainees in Israel, the UN Commission on Human Rights:
Affirms the obligation of Israel to commit itself to allowing the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the detainees regularly, as well as to allowing other international humanitarian organizations to do so and to verify their sanitary and humanitarian conditions and, in particular, the circumstances of their detention. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/8, 16 April 2003, § 3, voting record: 32-1-20.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Burundi, the UN Commission on Human Rights welcomed “the continuing cooperation between the Transitional Government and the International Committee of the Red Cross with regard to access and visits to detainees held in central prisons and other places of detention”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/16, 17 April 2003, § 15, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2003 on the situation of human rights in Sierra Leone, the UN Commission on Human Rights welcomed:
The activities carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, especially those related to promoting respect for international humanitarian law, in such areas as medical assistance, relief activities and visits to detained persons, as well as efforts by other humanitarian organizations including United Nations agencies to rehabilitate the country’s infrastructure to allow resettlement and reintegration of internally displaced persons and returning refugees. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2003/80, 25 April 2003, § 1(o), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on technical cooperation and advisory services in Nepal, the UN Commission on Human Rights called on the Government of Nepal:
To ensure full and unimpeded access without prior notice of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross to all persons held in detention, including places of detention under the authority of the Royal Nepalese Army. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/78, 20 April 2005, § 11(b), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon all parties to the conflict to “grant the International Committee of the Red Cross access to those detained in relation to the situation in Darfur”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/82, 21 April 2005, § 3(h), adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In 1996, in a statement by its Chairman on the situation of human rights in Chechnya, the UN Commission on Human Rights called for “the International Committee of the Red Cross to be permitted to have regular access to all detainees, in conformity with its standard criteria, in order to verify the conditions of their detention and treatment”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Chairman’s statement on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/L.10/Add.10, 24 April 1996, § 87.
International Force for East Timor
In 1999, in the context of the conflict in East Timor, the ICRC reported that the multinational force in East Timor, INTERFET,
arrests and detains, generally for short periods, persons suspected of engaging in militia activities. The ICRC was consulted by INTERFET in the development of detention procedures to ensure that they were in accordance with international standards. [The ICRC] has access to persons arrested and detained by INTERFET, and regularly visits them in accordance with standard ICRC working procedures. 
ICRC, Update No. 99/05 on ICRC Activities in Indonesia/East Timor, 29 November 1999, § 4.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1985 on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly urged “the governments of member states of the Council of Europe … to intervene with all United Nations member states to grant free access facilities for the Red Cross and Red Crescent to all the places they wish to visit”. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 854, 20 November 1985, § 6.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1994, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly asked the Government of Rwanda to encourage the ICRC to continue to visit places of detention of POWs, as well as police stations, and to allow international observers to visit other places of detention. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 1050, 10 November 1994, § 6(i)(c).
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation in some parts of the former Yugoslavia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly demanded that UNHCR, the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations be given access to Bosnian Serb prisoner camps. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 1066, 27 September 1995, § 6(iv).
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution on Kosovo adopted in 1996, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly called upon the governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia “to allow the ICRC immediate access to detainees”. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 1077, 24 January 1996, § 5(i)(b).
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the activities of the ICRC, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly invited member States to “give representatives of the ICRC access to persons detained in international or internal armed conflicts”. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 1085, 24 April 1996, § 8(f)
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a recommendation on Kosovo in 1998, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly urged the parties to the conflict to provide access by humanitarian organizations to detained persons. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rec. 1385, 24 September 1998, § 7(iii)(a).
European Parliament
In a resolution adopted in 2000 on violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Chechnya, the European Parliament urged that “full access and appropriate conditions be ensured to enable international humanitarian assistance to be delivered and that access to detainees and internally displaced persons be granted”. 
European Parliament, Resolution on violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Chechnya, 16 March 2000, § 5.
European Union
In 1995, in a statement before the OSCE Permanent Council, the EU requested that the ICRC be given unrestricted access to detainees in the context of the conflict in Chechnya.  
EU, Statement by the Presidency before the OSCE Permanent Council concerning the situation in Chechnya, 2 February 1995, pp. 3–4.
League of Arab States Council
In a resolution adopted in 1997, the Council of the League of Arab States decided:
To urge the Member States of the League [of Arab States] to use their good offices in international organisations so that all necessary representations are made to government of Israel, the occupying power, to enable the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations to visit the detainees in Khiam and Marj Uyun periodically and on a regular basis, and to ensure that the conditions in which they are being kept are inspected, that they are provided with health and humanitarian care and that their relatives are allowed to visit them regularly. 
League of Arab States, Council, Res. 5635, 31 March 1997, § 4.
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Permanent Council
In 1995, the OSCE Permanent Council requested that the ICRC be given unrestricted access to detainees in the context of the conflict in Chechnya. 
OSCE, Permanent Council, Resolution on Chechnya, 3 February 1995, §§ 6 and 11.
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Ministerial Council
In a decision on the OSCE Minsk Process adopted in 1995, the OSCE Ministerial Council urged the parties to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh “to provide the ICRC unimpeded access to all places of detention and all detainees”. 
OSCE, Ministerial Council, Decision on the Minsk Process, Doc. MC(5).DEC/3, 8 December 1995, § 3.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1965)
The 20th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1965 adopted a resolution on the treatment of prisoners of war in which it called upon all authorities involved in an armed conflict “to ensure … that the International Committee of the Red Cross is enabled to carry out its traditional humanitarian functions to ameliorate the condition of prisoners of war”. 
20th International Conference of the Red Cross, Vienna, 2–9 October 1965, Res. XXIV.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1969)
The 21st International Conference of the Red Cross in 1969 adopted a resolution on the protection of prisoners of war in which it called upon all parties “to allow the Protecting Power or the International Committee of the Red Cross free access to prisoners of war and to all places of their detention”. 
21st International Conference of the Red Cross, Istanbul, 6–13 September 1969, Res. XI.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1981)
The 24th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1981 adopted a resolution on humanitarian activities of the ICRC for the benefit of victims of armed conflicts in which it deplored the fact that “the ICRC is refused access to the captured combatants and detained civilians in the armed conflicts of Western Sahara, Ogaden and later on Afghanistan”. It urged “all parties concerned to enable the International Committee of the Red Cross to protect and assist persons captured, detained, wounded or sick and civilians affected by these conflicts”. 
24th International Conference of the Red Cross, Manila, 7–14 November 1981, Res. IV.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1986)
The 25th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1986 adopted a resolution on respect for international humanitarian law in armed conflicts and action by the ICRC for persons protected by the 1949 Geneva Conventions in which it appealed to parties involved in armed conflicts to “grant regular access to the ICRC to all prisoners in armed conflicts covered by international humanitarian law”. 
25th International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23–31 October 1986, Res. I, § 3.
Inter-Parliamentary Conference (1992)
In a resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted in 1992, the 88th Inter-Parliamentary Conference insisted that “appropriate international humanitarian organizations and, in particular, the International Committee of the Red Cross, be granted immediate, unimpeded and continued access to all camps, prisons and other places of detention”. 
88th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Stockholm, 7–12 September 1992, Resolution on support to the recent international initiatives to halt the violence and put an end to the violations of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, § 4.
Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Conclusions of the London Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995 state that fulfilment of the 1995 Dayton Accords will require “full and immediate access by the ICRC to all places where prisoners and detainees are kept, to interview and register all of them prior to their release”. 
Peace Implementation Conference for Bosnia and Herzegovina, London, 8–9 December 1995, Conclusions, annexed to Letter dated 11 December 1995 from the United Kingdom to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/1995/1029, 12 December 1995, § 25.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In 1995, the ICTY President wrote to the President of the ICRC proposing that the ICRC
undertake, in accordance with the modalities set out below, the inspection of conditions of detention and the treatment of persons awaiting trial or appeal before the Tribunal or otherwise detained on the authority of the Tribunal in the Penitentiary Complex or in the holding cells located at the premises of the Tribunal.
The “modalities” proposed included that the ICRC would be able to inspect and report on all aspects of conditions of detention; that it would have unlimited access to the detention facilities; and that it would be free to communicate with the detainees without witnesses being present. 
ICTY, Letter from the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, 28 April 1995, IRRC, No. 311, 1996, pp. 238–242.
In response, the ICRC President stated that it was within the mandate of the ICRC to visit persons detained in connection with armed conflicts and that the organization was, therefore, ready to carry out visits to detainees held by the ICTY. The conditions outlined in the letter from the ICTY were described as corresponding to “the traditional modalities under which the ICRC assesses the conditions of detention and the treatment of detainees, in particular by interviewing them in private, and makes the appropriate recommendations to the authorities concerned”. 
ICRC, Letter from the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, 5 May 1995, IRRC, No. 311, 1996, pp. 238–242.
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of the United States in 2006, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee is concerned by credible and uncontested information that the State party has seen fit to engage in the practice of detaining people secretly and in secret places for months and years on end, without keeping the International Committee of the Red Cross informed. In such cases, the rights of the families of the detainees are also being violated. The Committee is also concerned that, even when such persons may have their detention acknowledged, they have been held incommunicado for months or years, a practice that violates the rights protected by articles 7 and 9 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. In general, the Committee is concerned by the fact that people are detained in places where they cannot benefit from the protection of domestic or international law or where that protection is substantially curtailed, a practice that cannot be justified by the stated need to remove them from the battlefield. (articles 7 and 9)
The State party should immediately cease its practice of secret detention and close all secret detention facilities. It should also grant the International Committee of the Red Cross prompt access to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict. The State party should also ensure that detainees, regardless of their place of detention, always benefit from the full protection of the law. 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of the United States of America, UN Doc. CCPR/C/USA/CO/3/Rev.1, 18 December 2006, § 12.
[emphasis in original]
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In the Peruvian Prisons case (Provisional Measures) in 1993, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requested the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to indicate provisional measures with respect to the situation in four Peruvian prisons and noted in the description of the “grave and urgent nature” of the case that “the International Committee of the Red Cross is not currently authorized to inspect those prisons”. 
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Peruvian Prisons case (Provisional Measures), Order, 27 January 1993, § 3.
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Prisoners of War (Ethiopia’s Claim) partial award in 2003, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the right of the ICRC to be granted access to persons deprived of their liberty, stated:
58. The ICRC is assigned significant responsibilities in a number of articles of the [1949 Third Geneva] Convention. These provisions make clear that the ICRC may function in at least two different capacities – as a humanitarian organization providing relief and as an organization providing necessary and vital external scrutiny of the treatment of POWs [prisoners of war], either supplementary to a Protecting Power or as a substitute when there is no Protecting Power. There is no evidence before the Commission that Protecting Powers were proposed by either Ethiopia or Eritrea, and it seems evident that none was appointed. Nevertheless, the Convention clearly requires external scrutiny of the treatment of POWs and, in Article 10, where there is no Protecting Power or other functioning oversight body, it requires Detaining Powers to “accept … the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the present Convention.” In that event, Article 10 also provides that all mention of Protecting Powers in the Convention applies to such substitute organizations.
59. The right of the ICRC to have access to POWs is not limited to a situation covered by Article 10 in which it serves as a substitute for a Protecting Power. Article 126 specifies clear and critical rights of Protecting Powers with respect to access to camps and to POWs, including the right to interview POWs without witnesses, and it states that the delegates of the ICRC “shall enjoy the same prerogatives.” Ethiopia relies primarily on Article 126 in its allegation that Eritrea violated its legal obligations by refusing the ICRC access to its POWs.
60. Professor Levie points out in his monumental study of the treatment of POWs in international armed conflicts that the ICRC “has played an indispensable humanitarian role in every armed conflict for more than a century.” He also notes that, in addition to the work by the many Protecting Powers, the ICRC played a vital role in protecting POWs during the Second World War, when it made a total of 11,175 visits to installations where POWs and civilian internees were confined. Levie also lists the places where the ICRC and protecting powers have been excluded in recent times – the Soviet Union (1940–45), North Korea and the Peoples Republic of China (1950–53), and North Vietnam (1965–73). It is common knowledge that the treatment of POWs by the named Parties in those four places where the ICRC was unlawfully excluded was far worse than that required by the standards of applicable law. The long term result of these exclusions has been a reinforcement of the general understanding of the crucial role played by outside observers in the effective functioning of the legal regime for the protection of POWs.
61. The Commission cannot agree with [one party’s] argument that provisions of the Convention requiring external scrutiny of the treatment of POWs and access to POWs by the ICRC are mere details or simply implementing procedural provisions that have not, in half a century, become part of customary international law. These provisions are an essential part of the regime for protecting POWs that has developed in international practice, as reflected in Geneva Convention III. These requirements are, indeed, “treaty-based” in the sense that they are articulated in the Convention; but, as such, they incorporate past practices that had standing of their own in customary law, and they are of such importance for the prospects of compliance with the law that it would be irresponsible for the Commission to consider them inapplicable as customary international law. As the International Court of Justice said in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons:
79. It is undoubtedly because a great many rules of humanitarian law applicable in armed conflict are so fundamental to the respect of the human person and “elementary considerations of humanity” as the Court put it in its Judgment of 9 April 1949 in the Corfu Channel Case (I.C.J. Reports 1949, p. 22), that the Hague and Geneva Conventions have enjoyed a broad accession. Further these fundamental rules are to be observed by all States whether or not they have ratified the conventions that contain them, because they constitute intransgressible principles of international customary law. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Prisoners of War, Ethiopia’s Claim, Partial Award, 1 July 2003, §§ 58–61.
[footnotes in original omitted]
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
Representatives of the Protecting Powers and of the International Committee of the Red Cross:
a) have access to all places and premises where prisoners of war are located;
b) are allowed to visit prisoners of war in transfer;
c) are allowed to interview prisoners of war without witnesses;
d) have full liberty to select the places they wish to visit. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 719; see also § 839 (application mutatis mutandis of the regulations for the treatment of POWs to civilian internees).
ICRC
In international armed conflict, the 1949 Geneva Conventions (Article 126 of the Geneva Convention III and Article 143 of the Geneva Convention IV) give express competence to the ICRC as a protection mechanism. According to these provisions, ICRC delegates shall have permission to go to all places where persons protected by Geneva Conventions III and IV may be held, have access to all premises occupied by them, and be able to interview them without witnesses, either personally or through an interpreter. In non-international armed conflict, according to common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1986 Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Article 5(2)), the ICRC may offer its services to ensure protection and assistance of military and civilian victims of such situations and of their direct results. Protection of the lives, physical and mental integrity and the dignity of persons deprived of their liberty are at the heart of the ICRC’s action. The objective of ICRC visits to persons deprived of their liberty is basically to prevent and put a stop to such occurrences as enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as to improve detention conditions and restore family links. Preliminary conditions are required for the development of an action aimed at protecting persons deprived of their liberty, namely:
• Access to all persons deprived of their liberty for reasons related to armed conflict or internal violence, at all stages of their detention and in all places where they are held.
• Possibility to talk freely and in private with the persons deprived of their liberty of its choice.
• Possibility to register the identity of the persons deprived of their liberty.
•Possibility to repeat its visits to persons deprived of their liberty on a regular basis.
• ICRC must be authorized to inform families of the detention of their relatives and to ensure family news between persons deprived of their liberty and their families, whenever necessary.
In practice, the authorities often restrict access by the ICRC to persons deprived of their liberty during the first stage of detention. Such restrictions are not acceptable to the ICRC, unless it is for a short period, and have been the subject of many representations by the ICRC to the authorities concerned.
ICRC
In a press release in 1973, the ICRC responded to press reports which had erroneously stated that it was visiting detainees in Con Son prison in South Vietnam. The ICRC stated that it had ceased visiting the prison as it was only allowed to see “several dozen prisoners of war” and not the “civilian detainees who constituted the immense majority of the inmates” and that it was “precisely because of the restrictions imposed by the South Vietnam government – particularly the prohibition of private talks with detainees – that in March 1972 it discontinued visits to interned civilians”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1152b, ICRC puts the Record Straight on Con Son, 21 March 1973.
ICRC
In an appeal launched in 1979 with respect to the conflict in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, the ICRC specifically requested that the Patriotic Front “allow the ICRC to visit captured enemy combatants and civilians regularly, and without witness, wherever they are detained”. 
ICRC, Conflict in Southern Africa: ICRC appeal, 19 March 1979, § 7, IRRC, No. 209, 1979. p. 89.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1993 on the situation in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, the ICRC called on all parties “to facilitate ICRC access to all the victims”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1744, Eastern Bosnia: ICRC unable to assist conflict victims, 17 April 1993.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise in the Great Lakes region, the ICRC stated: “The visiting rights of the ICRC shall be respected and safeguarded.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise, Geneva, 23 June 1994, § I, reprinted in Marco Sassòli and Antoine A. Bouvier, How Does Law Protect in War?, ICRC, Geneva, 1999, p. 1308.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1995 concerning Turkey’s military operations in northern Iraq, the ICRC requested “immediate access to Kurdish combatants and civilians detained by the Turkish armed forces”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1797, ICRC calls for compliance with international law in Turkey and Northern Iraq, 22 March 1995.
ICRC
In 1995, an article in the Bangkok Post stated that the ICRC had closed its delegation in Rangoon because it had “failed to get proper access to political prisoners in Burma”. An ICRC statement quoted in the article said that the ICRC had first requested access to political prisoners in Burma in May 1994 but it did not receive a response from the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) until March 1995. The ICRC stated in relation to the response received that “this reply was not satisfactory as it took no account of the customary procedures for visits to places of detention followed by the ICRC in all countries where it conducts such activities”. 
Bangkok Post, Red Cross shuts office in Burma out of frustration, 20 June 1995.
ICRC
In 1995, the ICTY President wrote to the President of the ICRC proposing that the ICRC
undertake, in accordance with the modalities set out below, the inspection of conditions of detention and the treatment of persons awaiting trial or appeal before the Tribunal or otherwise detained on the authority of the Tribunal in the Penitentiary Complex or in the holding cells located at the premises of the Tribunal.
The “modalities” proposed included that the ICRC would be able to inspect and report on all aspects of conditions of detention; that it would have unlimited access to the detention facilities; and that it would be free to communicate with the detainees without witnesses being present. 
ICTY, Letter from the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, 28 April 1995, IRRC, No. 311, 1996, pp. 238–242.
In response, the ICRC President stated that it was within the mandate of the ICRC to visit persons detained in connection with armed conflicts and that the organization was, therefore, ready to carry out visits to detainees held by the ICTY. The conditions outlined in the letter from the ICTY were described as corresponding to “the traditional modalities under which the ICRC assesses the conditions of detention and the treatment of detainees, in particular by interviewing them in private, and makes the appropriate recommendations to the authorities concerned”. 
ICRC, Letter from the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, 5 May 1995, IRRC, No. 311, 1996, pp. 238–242.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2000 in connection with the hostilities in the Near East, the ICRC stated:
The detaining authority must authorize the ICRC to have access to … persons [arrested], wherever they may be, so that its delegates may ascertain their well-being and forward news to their families. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/42, ICRC appeal to all involved in violence in the Near East, 21 November 2000.
No data.