Practice Relating to Rule 127. Respect for Convictions and Religious Practices of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides:
Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states that persons whose liberty has been restricted shall be allowed to practise their religion and to receive spiritual assistance”.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands refers to “respect for fundamental rights such as freedom of conscience and worship” as a “priority” in relation to prisoners of war.
The manual further states: “Account must be taken of the diet to which the prisoners of war were accustomed. Account must also be taken of restrictions due to religious rules in this regard.”
In addition, the manual provides:
Prisoners of war must enjoy complete freedom in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities. In any case they must obey the disciplinary rules prescribed by the authorities. Religious ministers attached to the armed forces, who fall into the hands of the enemy power and who remain, or are retained, to assist prisoners of war are allowed to exercise their ministry freely. …
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
For those who have been deprived of their freedom, rules have been drawn up which go further than the fundamental guarantees:
- right to practise their religion and receive spiritual assistance.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Facilities must also be created for detainees to enjoy freedom of worship …”.