Practice Relating to Rule 97. Human Shields
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998) punishes the “use of [protected persons] to cover the troops or objects from hostilities”.
In a statement in February 1996, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan denounced the opposition’s use of prisoners as human shields. According to the statement, opposition forces hid behind a “living shield” of members of government forces, compelling the command of the armed forces of Tajikistan to abandon positions in order to avoid unjustified loss of life among military personnel. Such practice was qualified as a flagrant violation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.