Practice Relating to Rule 28. Medical Units
Under Iraq’s Military Penal Code (1940), attacks on medical units are an offence.
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies the following as a serious violation of the laws and customs of war applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts: “Intentionally directing attacks against buildings which do not constitute military objectives, and are … hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected.”
In 1987, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Iraq complained of the bombardment by the Islamic Republic of Iran of the hospital of the town of Dohuk which it deemed “in complete contradiction to the fundamental principles of humanitarian international law”. Iraq stated: “The international community long ago decided that hospitals and other medical centres were objectives against which any military activity whatsoever was prohibited.”