Related Rule
France
Practice Relating to Rule 96. Hostage-Taking
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, prohibits hostage-taking. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 9 bis (2).
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states that the taking of hostages is a war crime under the law of armed conflict. 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 3.4.
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides that neither prisoners of war nor any protected persons shall be used as hostages and that hostage-taking is a violation of the laws of armed conflict. 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, pp. 3, 5 and 7.
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides that hostage-taking is a war crime. It adds that hostage-taking is expressly prohibited by the law of armed conflict and has been considered a war crime since 1949. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, pp. 45 and 51.
The manual also states that one of the three main principles common to IHL and human rights is the principle of security, which prohibits the taking of hostages. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 101.
According to the Report on the Practice of France, hostage-taking is inadmissible. This entails refusing any distinction as to its object, to forbid such behaviour and to refuse any condition to obtain the liberation of hostages. According to the report, diplomatic, UN and NGO personnel are particularly concerned. 
Report on the Practice of France, 1999, Chapter 5.3.
In 2009, the President of the French Republic stated:
In Sri Lanka … France has endeavoured to ensure that the civilian population is no longer being held hostage.
… No country has the right to take its people hostage. 
France, Address by the President of the French Republic on the 90th Anniversary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 4 May 2009, pp. 2 and 5.