Practice Relating to Rule 113. Treatment of the Dead

Geneva Convention IV
Article 16, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken … to protect [the killed] against … ill-treatment.” 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 16, second para.
Additional Protocol I
Article 34(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “The remains of persons who have died for reasons related to occupation or in detention resulting from occupation or hostilities … shall be respected”. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 34(1). Article 34 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.37, 24 May 1977, p. 71.
Additional Protocol II
Article 4 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides:
1. All persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take part in hostilities, whether or not their liberty has been restricted, are entitled to respect for their person [and] honour …
2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the following acts against the persons referred to in paragraph I are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever:
(e) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment … 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 4. Article 4 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.50, 3 June 1977, p. 90
ICC Statute
Pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(xxi) and (c)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[c]ommitting outrages upon personal dignity” constitutes a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 8(2)(b)(xxi) and (c)(ii).
Oxford Manual
Article 19 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “It is forbidden to … mutilate the dead lying on the field of battle.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 19.
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Article 3(a) of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam provides: “In the event of the use of force and in case of armed conflict … it is prohibited to mutilate dead bodies.” 
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted at the 19th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Res. 49/19-P, Cairo, 5 August 1990, annexed to Letter dated 19 September 1990 from the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/45/421-S/21797, 20 September 1990, Article 3(a).
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and IHL in the Philippines
Article 3(4) of Part IV of the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and IHL in the Philippines provides that “desecration of the remains of those who have died in the course of the armed conflict or while under detention” shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to persons hors de combat. Article 4(9) provides: “Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay, … [to prevent] mutilation [the dead].” 
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, The Hague, 16 March 1998, Part IV, Articles 3(4) and 4(9).
ICC Elements of Crimes
With reference to the war crime of outrages upon personal dignity, the 2000 ICC Elements of Crimes specifies that Article 8(2)(b)(xxi) and (c)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute also applies to dead persons. 
Finalized draft text of the Elements of Crimes, adopted by the 23rd Meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court, New York, 30 June 2000, Report of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. PCNICC/2000/INF/3/Add.2, Addendum, 6 July 2000, as adopted by the Assembly of States Parties, First Session, 3–10 September 2002, Official Records of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. ICC-ASP/1/3, 25 September 2002, and ICC-ASP/1/3/Corr.1, 31 October 2002, p. 29, footnote 49, and p. 35, footnote 57.
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(b)(xxi) and (c)(ii), “[c]ommitting outrages upon personal dignity” constitutes a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(b)(xxi) and (c)(ii).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
The remains of the dead, regardless of whether they are combatants, noncombatants, protected persons or civilians, are to be respected, in particular their honour, family rights, religious convictions and practices and manners and customs. At all times they shall be humanely treated. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 998.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
The remains of the dead, regardless of whether they are combatants, non-combatants, protected persons or civilians are to be respected, in particular their honour, family rights, religious convictions and practices and manners and customs. At all times they shall be humanely treated. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.103.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Instructions to the Muslim Fighter (1993) issued by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH) in 1993 stated:
(c) Prisoners of war:
… Islam likewise forbids the mutilation of enemy … dead … These are general rules which are binding for our soldiers. However, if the commanding officer assesses that the situation and the general interest demand a different course of action, then the soldiers are duty-bound to obey their commanding officer. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Instructions to the Muslim Fighter, booklet, ABiH 3rd Corps, 1993, cited in ICTY, Hadžihasanović and Others Case, Amended Indictment, 11 January 2002, § 24(c).
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The dead must be respected in all circumstances.” 
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. 85; see also Part I bis, p. 57.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “The remains of all persons who have died as a result of hostilities or while in occupation or detention in relation thereto shall be respected.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-6, § 54.
The manual considers that “mutilation or other maltreatment of dead bodies” is a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 16-4, § 21(a).
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides that “there is … an obligation to … protect and pay proper respect for the dead”. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001 Rule 7, § 3.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked: “The remains of all persons who have died as a result of hostilities or while in occupation or detention in relation thereto shall be respected, and their gravesites properly respected, maintained and marked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 925.1.
In its chapter on the treatment of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict or an occupying power, the manual states:
As far as military considerations permit, the belligerents must facilitate any steps to search for killed and wounded, to assist shipwrecked and other persons exposed to grave danger, and to protect them against pillage and ill-treatment. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1110.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual further states that “mutilation or other maltreatment of dead bodies” is a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1609.3.a.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual states:
After any engagement and whenever circumstances permit, all possible steps must be taken without delay to search for and collect the wounded, sick and shipwrecked … Steps must also be taken to search for the dead [and] prevent their despoliation. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1718.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states that there is “an obligation to … protect and pay proper respect for the dead”. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 7, § 3.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders) that “dead enemy soldiers must be treated well.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Annex, Section II.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “the dead must not be attacked”. 
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. 93.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides that “mutilation and other mistreatment of the dead” are representative war crimes. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, p. 6-5, § 6.2.5.
Greece
The Hellenic Territorial Army’s Internal Service Code (1984), as amended, provides: “It is forbidden for members of the armed forces: … To perform outrageous acts against the dead.” 
Greece, Hellenic Territorial Army Regulation of Internal Service Code, Presidential Decree 130/1984 (Military Regulation 20-1), as amended, Article 15(b).
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states: “It is imperative to tend to the enemy’s wounded and dead.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 44.
The manual further states: “[A legal] combatant is entitled to the status of a prisoner of war, according him … protection against the abuse of dead soldiers’ bodies.” 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 46.
According to the manual, it is absolutely forbidden to abuse the corpses of the enemy’s dead. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 61.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The bodies of the fallen must not be desecrated and they must be given suitable burial.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 30.
The manual further states:
It is absolutely forbidden to desecrate the bodies of the enemy’s fallen. Such actions do not contribute anything to the fighting and destroy the human image of both the fallen soldier and the desecrator. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 39.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states: “Remains must be protected.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VI-2
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “The dead must not be mutilated.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-37.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
The individual is entitled to respect for his life, physical, mental and moral integrity and whatever is inseparable from his personality.
Examples:
- The physical remains of a fallen combatant are inviolable. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0224(d).
The manual further states: “Human remains must be respected and protected.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0609.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states: “The remains of all persons who have died as a result of hostilities, or while in occupation or detention in relation to hostilities, shall be respected.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1012(1).
The manual also states: “Among other war crimes recognised by the customary law of armed conflict are mutilation or other maltreatment of dead bodies.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1704(5).
With respect to non-international armed conflicts, the manual states that “steps must be taken to prevent … abuse” of the dead. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1817(1).
Nigeria
According to Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War, “maltreatment of dead bodies” is a war crime. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 6.
Philippines
The Military Instructions (1989) of the Philippines states:
Respect for the dead which includes our own troops, the enemy and particularly innocent civilians must be a paramount concern of all commanders and troops at all levels … All dead bodies … must be handled humanely and treated with care and respect. 
Philippines, Safety of Innocent Civilians and Treatment of the Wounded and Dead, Directive to Commanders of Major Services and Area Commands, Office of the Chief of Staff, General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Ministry of National Defence, 6 September 1989, §§ 2 and 4.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Operational Law Manual (1996) states that the mutilation of dead bodies is a war crime. 
Republic of Korea, Operational Law Manual, 1996, Articles 1(4) and 2.
Republic of Korea
Under the Republic of Korea’s military regulations, “injuring dead bodies” is a war crime. 
Republic of Korea, Military Regulation 187, 1 January 1991, Article 4.2; Military Operations Law of War Compliance Regulation, Regulation No. 525-8, 1 November 1993, Statute 525-8 of United Nations Command/Combined Force Command (UNC/CFC), Statute of Observing Laws of War of 15 December 1988.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
i. Mutilation of bodies is prohibited.
j. The above mentioned actions shall be applied to all dead persons, whether civilian or military, own or enemy forces. 
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. 39.
South Africa
According to South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996), “maltreatment of dead bodies” is a grave breach. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 39(c).
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) provides that the “[m]altreatment of dead bodies” is a grave breach of the law of armed conflict and a war crime. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, §§ 61(c) and 57.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states: “The dead shall be preserved from attack.” 
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, § 5.2.d.(6).
It also states: “The dead shall be respected.” 
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, § 7.5.a.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “The dead must be respected.” 
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, § 5.2.d.(6); see also § 7.5.a.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states that anyone who “mutilates the dead” will be punished. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Articles 194(2) and 200(f).
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
“The dead” means persons who died because of the reasons related to the conduct of hostilities. The remains of such persons, including non-citizens of the State where they died, shall be respected. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.30.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states: “The dead must be protected against … maltreatment.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 380.
The manual further states that “maltreatment of dead bodies” 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(b).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states: “The dead must not be … mutilated.” 
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, Annex A, p. 47, § 15.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) provides that the dead must be protected against maltreatment and that the mutilation of dead bodies is a war crime. The manual refers to this as a “well-established rule of customary international law”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.31 and footnote 72.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual states: “The dead must not be … ill-treated.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.29.1.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides that “maltreatment of dead bodies” is a war crime. 
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, § 504(c).
United States of America
The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) states: “In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the following acts are further examples of war crimes: … mutilating or mistreating dead bodies”. 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, pp. 13 and 14.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides that “mutilation and other mistreatment of the dead” are representative war crimes. 
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), § 6.2.5.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states that “[m]utilation or other mistreatment of the dead” is an example of acts that could be considered war crimes. 
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, § 6.2.6.
United States of America
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
Legal Considerations
a. As a subset of military operations, detainee operations must comply with the law of war during all armed conflicts, however such conflicts are characterized, and in all other military operations …
c. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 are fully applicable as a matter of international law to all military operations that qualify as international armed conflicts … The principles reflected in these treaties are considered customary international law, binding on all nations during international armed conflict. Although often referred to collectively as the “Geneva Conventions,” the specific treaties are:
(1) [1949] Geneva Convention [I] … This convention … prohibits the abuse of remains [of dead persons]. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. I-2–I-3.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
INTENTIONALLY MISTREATING A DEAD BODY.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally mistreats the body of a dead person, without justification by legitimate military necessary, shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused mistreated or otherwise violated the dignity of the body of a dead person;
(2) The accused’s actions were not justified by legitimate military necessity;
(3) The accused intended to mistreat or violate the dignity of such body; and
(4) This act took place in the context of and was associated with hostilities.
c. Comment.
(1) This offense is designed to criminalize only the most serious conduct.
(2) To mistreat or otherwise violate the dignity of the body of a dead person requires severe physical desecrations, such as dismemberment, sexual or other defilement, or mutilation of dead bodies, especially if publicly displayed, that, as a result, do not respect the remains of the deceased; it does not include photography of a corpse unaccompanied by acts of severe disrespect.
(3) The term “necessary” as used in this section means “necessity.”
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of Chapter 47A of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C, §§ 948a, et seq., 27 April 2010, § 5(20), pp. IV-16 and IV-17.
Australia
Australia’s War Crimes Act (1945) states: “The expression ‘war crime’ includes the following: … cannibalism … [and] mutilation of the dead”. 
Australia, War Crimes Act, 1945, Section 3(xxxiv) and (xxxv).
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “outrages upon personal dignity” of the bodies of dead persons in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, §§ 268.58(2) and 268.74(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).
Canada
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the war crimes defined in Article 8(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 4(1) and (4).
Congo
The Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes defined in Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Congo, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act, 1998, Article 4.
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).
Ethiopia
Under Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957), it is a punishable offence to “mutilate a dead person”. 
Ethiopia, Penal Code, 1957, Article 287(b).
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Article 275.- Dereliction of Duty Towards the Enemy.
Whoever, in time of war and contrary to public international law and humanitarian conventions:
(b) mutilates a dead person; or
(d) orders one of the above acts,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with life imprisonment or death. 
Ethiopia, Criminal Code, 2004, Article 275.
The Criminal Code of 2004 repealed Ethiopia’s Penal Code of 1957.
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 16 of the Geneva Convention IV, and of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 34(1), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides: “Commanders shall take all necessary measures to ensure respect for the bodies of enemy dead on the battlefield.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 94.
Italy
Italy’s Wartime Military Penal Code (1941) provides that anyone who mutilates or commits outrages upon the body of a soldier fallen on the battlefield is guilty of a punishable offence. 
Italy, Wartime Military Penal Code, 1941, Article 197.
Lithuania
Lithuania’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1998, punishes outrages upon the bodies of the killed out of revenge or for terror purposes. 
Lithuania, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1998, Article 335.
Morocco
Morocco’s Military Justice Code (1956) states that “[a]ny individual, military or not, who, in the area of operations of a military field unit … despoils a wounded, sick or dead soldier, is punished with imprisonment”. 
Morocco, Military Justice Code, 1956, Article 164.
Netherlands
The Military Criminal Code (1964), as amended in 1990, of the Netherlands provides for the punishment of persons committing violent acts against a dead person. 
Netherlands, Military Criminal Code, as amended in 1990, Article 143.
New Zealand
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crimes defined in Article 8(2)(b)(xxi) and (c)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(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 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Acts constituting the crime of genocide perpetrated against Tutsi and other crimes against humanity which are in the jurisdiction of the Primary Court
The following offences shall be tried at the first instance by the Primary Court:
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
Anyone who mutilates or disfigures the corpse of a soldier who has died in war, or who commits upon it acts of desecration or other acts of brutality or obscenity, or who steals all or part of the corpse, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 10 years. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 380.
Spain
Spain’s Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces (1978) provides: “The dead shall be respected.” 
Spain, Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces, 1978, Article 140.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, punishes anyone who mutilates a dead person. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended, Article 140(2).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 112c
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who, in the context of an armed conflict:
e. mutilates the dead body of an enemy combatant. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 112c (1)(e).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264g
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who, in the context of an armed conflict:
e. mutilates the dead body of an enemy combatant. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264g (1)(e).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Under the UK ICC Act (2001), it is a punishable offence to commit a war crime as defined in Article 8(2)(b)(xxi) and (c)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Sections 50(1) and 51(1) (England and Wales) and Section 58(1) (Northern Ireland).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950t. Crimes triable by military commission
“The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“(20) INTENTIONALLY MISTREATING A DEAD BODY.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally mistreats the body of a dead person, without justification by legitimate military necessary [necessity], shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950t(20).
Venezuela
Under Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998), as amended, committing outrages upon the dead is considered a crime against international law. 
Venezuela, Code of Military Justice, 1998, as amended, Article 474(12).
Australia
In 1945, in the Takehiko case, an Australian Military Court sentenced the accused, a Japanese soldier, for “mutilating the dead body of a prisoner of war” and for “cannibalism”. 
Australia, Military Court at Wewak, Takehiko case, Judgment, 30 November 1945.
Australia
In 1946, in the Tisato case, an Australian Military Court found the accused, a Japanese soldier, guilty of “cannibalism”. The prosecution in this case alleged that several prisoners had been killed and that their flesh had been eaten. 
Australia, Military Court at Rabaul, Tisato case, Judgment, 2 April 1946.
Canada
In 2013, in the Sapkota case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed a request for review of a decision denying refugee protection to the applicant on grounds of complicity in crimes against humanity in Nepal between 1991 and 2009. While reviewing the submissions of the respondent, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Court stated: “The Respondent notes that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court … is endorsed in Canada as a source of customary law.” 
Canada, Federal Court, Sapkota case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 15 July 2013, § 28.
Israel
In its judgment in Physicians for Human Rights v. Commander of the IDF Forces in the West Bank in 2002, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
Though we are unable to express a position regarding the specific events mentioned in the petition … we see fit to emphasize that our combat forces are required to abide by the rules of humanitarian law regarding the care of the wounded, the ill and bodies of the deceased. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Physicians for Human Rights v. Commander of the IDF Forces in the West Bank, Judgment, 8 April 2002.
Israel
In its ruling in the Barake case in 2002, dealing with the question of when, how and by whom the mortal remains of Palestinians who died in a battle in Jenin refugee camp should be identified and buried, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated: “Needless to say, the burial will be made in an appropriate and respectful manner, maintaining the respect for the dead. In this matter, no distinction will be made between the bodies of armed combatants and the bodies of civilians.” 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Barake case, Ruling, 14 April 2002, § 8.
United States of America
In 1946, in the Kikuchi and Mahuchi case, a US Military Commission sentenced the accused, who were Japanese soldiers, for “bayoneting and mutilating the dead body of a United States prisoner of war”. 
United States, Military Commission at Yokohama, Kikuchi and Mahuchi case, Judgment, 20 April 1946.
United States of America
In 1946, in the Yochio and Others case, a US Military Commission tried and convicted some of the accused Japanese soldiers for “preventing an honorable burial due to the consumption of parts of the bodies of prisoners of war by the accused during a special meal in the officers’ mess”. The accused were found guilty of these charges. 
United States, Military Commission at the Mariana Islands, Yochio and Others case, Judgment, 2–15 August 1946.
United States of America
In its judgment in the Schmid case in 1947, the US General Military Court at Dachau found the accused, a German medical officer, guilty of maltreating the body of a deceased US airman in violation of Article 3 of the 1929 Geneva Convention. The accused had severed the head from the body of the airman, had baked it and removed the skin and flesh and had bleached the skull. 
United States, General Military Court at Dachau, Schmid case, Judgment, 19 May 1947.
Azerbaijan
In 1993, the Ministry of the Interior of Azerbaijan ordered that troops “in zones of combat, during military operations … must not desecrate the remains of enemies”. 
Azerbaijan, Ministry of the Interior, Command of the Troops of the Interior, Order No. 42, Baku, 9 January 1993, § 5.
Colombia
In a case before Colombia’s Council of State in 1994, the Prosecutor stated that failure to treat the bodies of dead combatants and civilians with respect constituted a violation of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. 
Colombia, Council of State, Case No. 9276, Concepto del Procurador Primero Delegado, 19 August 1994.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry for National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “Ethics of Debne warriors” [inhabitants of the Dikhil region in Djibouti], stated: “Avoid any humiliation of … the dead enemy”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 231.
Indonesia
The Report on the Practice of Indonesia states that it is the practice of Indonesia to care for the dead. 
Report on the Practice of Indonesia, 1997, Chapter 5.1.
Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows: “The bodies of the enemy dead should not be mutilated or burned”. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 25.
The publication also described traditional Somali practice as follows: “[T]o mutilate the body of a dead person or uncover its genitals were considered to be a particularly outrageous violation of custom.” 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 55.
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia referred to “Spared from the Spear” as its “own Geneva Conventions”:
In times of hostilities, the Biri-Ma-Geydo (Spared from the Spear), i.e. Somalia’s own “Geneva Conventions”[,] which existed long before the adoption of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, mitigated and regulated the conduct of clan hostilities and the treatment of immune groups. 
Somalia, Comments by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning the report of Somalia, submitted 21 September 2011, § 4.
Somalia
In 2011, in its report to the Human Rights Council, Somalia stated:
Somalia has not ratified AP II [1977 Additional Protocol II] and it is therefore not directly applicable to Somalia as a matter of treaty law. The Government is aware that many provisions of AP II represent customary IHL rules and therefore apply to the situation in Somalia. Such provisions include Article 4 providing guarantees to persons taking no active part in hostilities … due to the fact that these norms are reflected in Common Article 3 of the [1949] Geneva Conventions. 
Somalia, Report to the Human Rights Council, 11 April 2011, UN Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/11/SOM/1, § 75.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in reply to a written question in the House of Lords, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, wrote: “The Deployed Operating Instructions issued to all United Kingdom military units state that enemy dead are to be treated the same as UK military dead.” 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 8 September 2003, Vol. 652, Written Answers, col. WA40.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed: “We support … the principle that … the remains of the dead be respected and maintained”. 
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. 424.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
In 1991, the Ministry of Defence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia issued a document entitled “Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia”. This document included the following example: “The attitude towards dead YPA [Yugoslav People’s Army] soldiers has been absolutely uncivilized and without any trace of humanity.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Ministry of Defence, Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia, 10 July 1991, § 2(iv).
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on human rights and forensic science, the UN Commission on Human Rights underlined “the importance of dignified handling of human remains, including their proper management and disposal, as well as of respect for the needs of families”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/26, 19 April 2005, preamble, adopted without a vote.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “The dead may not be attacked.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 230.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1993 in the context of the conflict in Somalia, the ICRC condemned abuses committed on the remains of dead combatants of the UNOSOM II forces. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1759, Somalia: The ICRC appeals for respect for international humanitarian law, 7 October 1993, § 1.
De Zayas
Investigations following allegations concerning crimes committed against members of the armed forces fighting in Crete during the Second World War found evidence that dead German soldiers had been mutilated:
Some had their genitals mutilated, eyes put out, ears and noses cut off; others had knife wounds in the face, stomach, and back; throats were slit, and hands chopped off. The majority of these mutilations were probably defilement of dead bodies; only in a few cases does the evidence indicate that the victim was maltreated and tortured to death. 
Alfred M. de Zayas, The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939–1945, University of Nebraska Press, 1989, pp. 156 and 157.
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards
The Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University in Turku/Åbo, Finland in 1990, states: “Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay, … to prevent [the dead] being … mutilated.” 
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, 30 November–2 December 1990, Article 13, IRRC, No. 282, p. 335.