Practice Relating to Rule 125. Correspondence of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Geneva Convention III
Article 70 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
Immediately upon capture, or not more than one week after arrival at a camp, even if it is a transit camp, likewise in case of sickness or transfer to hospital or another camp, every prisoner of war shall be enabled to write direct to his family, on the one hand, and to the Central Prisoners of War Agency provided for in Article 123, on the other hand, a card similar, if possible, to the model annexed to the present Convention, informing his relatives of his capture, address and state of health. The said cards shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed in any manner. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 70.
Geneva Convention III
Article 71 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides:
Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to limit the number of letters and cards sent by each prisoner of war, the said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly, exclusive of the capture cards provided for in Article 70, and conforming as closely as possible to the models annexed to the present Convention. Further limitations may be imposed only if the Protecting Power is satisfied that it would be in the interests of the prisoners of war concerned to do so owing to difficulties of translation caused by the Detaining Power's inability to find sufficient qualified linguists to carry nut the necessary censorship. If limitations must be placed on the correspondence addressed to prisoners of war, they may be ordered only by the Power on which the prisoners depend, possibly at the request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards must be conveyed by the most rapid method at the disposal of the Detaining Power; they may not be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons.
Prisoners of war who have been without news for a long period, or who are unable to receive news from their next of kin or to give them news by the ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a great distance from their homes, shall be permitted to send telegrams, the fees being charged against the prisoners of war's accounts with the Detaining Power, or paid in the currency at their disposal. They shall likewise benefit by this measure in cases of urgency.
As a general rule, the correspondence of prisoners of war shall be written in their native language. The Parties to the conflict may allow correspondence in other languages.
Sacks containing prisoner of war mail must be securely sealed and labelled so as clearly to indicate their contents, and must be addressed to offices of destination. 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 71.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 25 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
All persons in the territory of a Party to the conflict, or in a territory occupied by it, shall be enabled to give news of a strictly personal nature to members of their families, wherever they may be, and to receive news from them. This correspondence shall be forwarded speedily and without undue delay.
If, as a result of circumstances, it becomes difficult or impossible to exchange family correspondence by the ordinary post, the Parties to the conflict concerned shall apply to a neutral intermediary, such as the Central Agency provided for in Article 140, and shall decide in consultation with it how to ensure the fulfilment of their obligations under the best possible conditions, in particular with the cooperation of the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies.
If the Parties to the conflict deem it necessary to restrict family correspondence, such restrictions shall be confined to the compulsory use of standard forms containing twenty-five freely chosen words, and to the limitation of the number of these forms despatched to one each month. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 25.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 106 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
As soon as he is interned, or at the latest not more than one week after his arrival in a place of internment, and likewise in cases of sickness or transfer to another place of internment or to a hospital, every internee shall be enabled to send direct to his family, on the one hand, and to the Central Agency provided for by Article 140, on the other, an internment card similar, if possible, to the model annexed to the present Convention, informing his relatives of his detention, address and state of health. The said cards shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed in any way. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 106.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 107 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
Internees shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. If the Detaining power deems it necessary to limit the number of letters and cards sent by each internee, the said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly; these shall be drawn up so as to conform as closely as possible to the models annexed to the present Convention. If limitations must be placed on the correspondence addressed to internees, they may be ordered only by the Power to which such internees owe allegiance, possibly at the request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards must be conveyed with reasonable despatch; they may not be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons.
Internees who have been a long time without news, or who find it impossible to receive news from their relatives, or to give them news by the ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a considerable distance from their homes, shall be allowed to send telegrams, the charges being paid by them in the currency at their disposal. They shall likewise benefit by this provision in cases which are recognized to be urgent.
As a rule, internees' mail shall be written in their own language. The Parties to the conflict may authorize correspondence in other languages. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 107.
Protocol to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam
Article 8 of the 1973 Protocol to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam states that all captured military personnel and captured civilians “shall be allowed to exchange post cards and letters with their families”. 
Protocol on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam concerning the Return of Captured Military Personnel and Foreign Civilians and Captured and Detained Vietnamese Personnel, signed on behalf of the United States of America, the Republic of Viet-Nam, the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet-Nam, Paris, 27 January 1973, Article 8.
Additional Protocol II
Article 5(2)(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides that persons whose liberty has been restricted “shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards, the number of which may be limited by competent authority if it deems necessary”. 
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 5(2)(b). Article 5 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.50, 3 June 1977, p. 92.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 37(c) of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that every child deprived of liberty “shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence … save in exceptional circumstances”. 
Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 44/25, 20 November 1989, Article 37(c).
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
Rule 37 of the 1955 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provides: “Prisoners shall be allowed under necessary supervision to communicate with their family and reputable friends at regular intervals … by correspondence.” 
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the 1st UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Geneva, 30 August 1955, UN Doc. A/CONF/6/1, Annex I, A, adopted on 30 August 1955, approved by the UN Economic and Social Council, Res. 663 C (XXIV), 31 July 1957, extended by Res. 2076 (LXII), 13 May 1977 to persons arrested or imprisoned without charge, Rule 37.
European Prison Rules
Rule 43(1) of the 1987 European Prison Rules provides: “Prisoners shall be allowed to communicate with their families and, subject to the needs of treatment, security and good order, persons or representatives of outside organisations.” 
Recommendation No. R (87) 3 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States of the Council of Europe on the European Prison Rules, adopted by the Committee of Ministers at the 404th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, Strasbourg, 12 February 1987, Rule 43(1).
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
Principle 15 of the 1988 Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides:
Notwithstanding the exceptions contained in Principle 16, paragraph 4, and Principle 18, paragraph 3, communication of the detained or imprisoned person with the outside world, and in particular his family or counsel, shall not be denied for more than a matter of days. 
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 43/173, 9 December 1988, Principle 15.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) reproduces Article 71 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 25 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, §§ 2.066 and 4.008.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989), referring to Articles 71, 72, 74, 75 and 76 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, provides: “Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 3.16.
The manual also provides that internees shall be enabled “to give news of a strictly personal nature to members of their families, wherever they may be, and to receive news from them”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.14.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides that prisoners of war “have the right to send and receive letters”. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 716.
The Guide further states that captured enemy combatants should be treated as being entitled to prisoner-of-war status. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 719.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “Not more than one week after his arrival at a camp, even if it is a transit camp, every prisoner of war should be enabled to write, directly to his family and to the Central Prisoners of War Agency, a card of a special model.” It adds that prisoners of war should be allowed to send and receive cards. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 47.
Belgium
Belgium’s Specific Procedure on the Prisoners of War Information Bureau (2007) states that the tasks of the PWIB (Prisoners of War Information Bureau) include: “collecting and registering the following information concerning each prisoner of war in the power of the Belgian armed forces: … the address to which correspondence for the prisoner may be forwarded”. 
Belgium, Structure et fonctionnement du Bureau de Renseignements sur les prisonniers de guerre, Procédure spécifique, Ministère de la Défense, 2007, pp. 6–7, § 7(a)(1).
In the case of Belgian prisoners of war in the power of the enemy, the Specific Procedure provides:
If the Belgian PW [prisoner of war] has not expressed his refusal to have his family informed of his situation, a letter will be sent to the address of the person recorded as “to be informed.” This letter shall contain the following information, in so far as it is available: … the address to which correspondence for the prisoner may be forwarded. 
Belgium, Structure et fonctionnement du Bureau de Renseignements sur les prisonniers de guerre, Procédure spécifique, Ministère de la Défense, 2007, p. 11, § 12(c)(1).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides that captured enemy combatants and civilians shall have the right to exchange news with their families. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 5.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Prisoners of war must be allowed to … send and receive letters and cards … [as well as] to receive individual packages or collective remittances.” 
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. 56.
The Regulations also states that prisoners of war “have the right to send and receive their correspondence in return for censorship”. 
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. 105.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states that prisoners shall be authorized to send and receive correspondence by the intermediary of the ICRC. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 33.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides that the correspondence of prisoners of war shall reach them regularly and shall not be interfered with. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 154, § 541.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), states: “A prisoner of war enjoys a legal status that guarantees him certain rights [including the right to] regularly receive correspondence which must not be interfered with.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 35, § 141.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war: “They are authorized to send and receive mail, effects and foodstuffs by the intermediary of the International Committee of the Red Cross.” 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 33.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “POWs [prisoners of war] shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards and, in exceptional circumstances, telegrams as well.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 10-5, § 45.
With regard to non-international armed conflicts, the manual states: “Detained persons shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-3, § 25.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of prisoners of war (PWs): “PWs shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards and, in exceptional circumstances, telegrams as well.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1032.
In its chapter on rights and duties of occupying powers, the manual provides:
1223. Control of persons in occupied territory
2. Permissible measures of population control include:
c. under certain exceptional circumstances, persons may be held without any right to communicate for a limited period. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1223.2.c.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflicts, the manual states: “Detained persons shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards, subject to such numerical restrictions as may be imposed by the detaining authority”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1715.3.
Canada
Canada’s Prisoner of War Handling and Detainees Manual (2004) states:
1. PW [prisoners of war] are allowed to send and receive letters and to receive parcels. All mail must be conveyed as quickly as possible and in order to achieve this, some regulation of the mail system is necessary. The details of this are set out in the following paragraphs.
2. Capture Cards. Immediately on capture or within one week of arriving at a camp, each PW is to be allowed to write one card to his family and one card to the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC or to the Protecting Power telling them of his capture, address and state of health.
3. Camp Postal Officer. The Camp Commander is to appoint an Officer or Warrant Officer of the Regular Forces as the Camp Postal Officer. His duties will be as follows:
c. To ensure that no letter is delivered to a PW unless it has been subjected to the PW censorship process.
d. Scrutinising all outgoing mail to ensure that the instructions concerning outgoing mail have been complied with.
4. Incoming Mail. There are no limitations on the amount of correspondence which a PW may receive. PW will be allowed to receive all letters and cards, which are addressed to them, unless they have been withheld due to censorship and security concerns. Mail must not be delayed or detained as a punishment, neither must mail be delayed under the pretext of censorship difficulties. Incoming mail is likely to be subjected to a censorship process both in the PW’s own country and by the Detaining Power. If the censor judges the content of an incoming letter to be objectionable on security grounds he may retain the letter. In this case, the PW will be informed of the letter’s retention and the letter will be retained by the censoring authorities as required under Canadian law should inquiries about the whereabouts of the letter be made by the ICRC or the Protecting Power.
5. Outgoing Mail. There are no postal charges on PW mail which may only be written on stationery specially designated by the JTF [Joint Task Force] Postal Services. The normal allowance of outgoing mail is two letter forms and four post cards per month although an application for an increase in this quota may be made to the Camp Commander. Outgoing mail, with certain exceptions … will be subject to censorship by Canadian authorities and possibly by the authorities in the country to which the mail is addressed. Retained Personnel are to have the same postal quota as PW. 
Canada, Prisoner of War Handling, Detainees, Interrogation and Tactical Questioning in International Operations, B-GJ-005-110/FP-020, National Defence Headquarters, 1 August 2004, § 3F13.1-4.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008) states:
Chapter 4: Use of Force in International Operations
402. Types of International Operations
1. In general, there are four types of international operational relationships in which the CF [Canadian Forces] may participate with each one having unique considerations pertaining to the use of force, self-defence and rules of engagement:
a. Alliance. Alliance operations refer to operations conducted under a formal standing alliance such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or Canada-United States (CANUS). In these cases, there are formal policy, command-and-control and force structure instruments which will affect ROE [rules of engagement] development and application;
b. Coalition. A coalition is a less formal alliance which is normally limited to a specific mission. Coalitions normally lack the formal status of forces' agreements and infrastructure architectures that are common to alliances such as NATO. A coalition may operate under the legal umbrella of a UN Security Council resolution, but they are not UN missions. Once a mission or operation has been completed, the coalition is normally disbanded;
c. United Nations (UN). UN missions operate under a UN Security Council resolution and fall within the UN command-and-control structure; and
d. Unilateral. An international operation where Canadian forces are operating unilaterally within a region or area.
407. Supplementary Direction
3. Detainees. In support of the operational or security objectives of an international operation, Canadian forces may be required to detain persons. Reasons to detain include, but are not limited to, persons who do the following:
a. interfere with the accomplishment of the mission and related tasks;
b. otherwise use or threaten force against friendly forces, or the equipment and materials belonging to them, or under their protection;
c. enter an area under the control of friendly forces without prior authorization; and
d. are suspected of breaches of the law of armed conflict.
4. Where the use of deadly force is authorized in a given situation, that authority also includes the authority to detain persons against whom deadly force could have been used. In all other cases, specific ROE must be authorized in order to detain persons. The standards provided in the Geneva Conventions will be the minimum standard for the treatment of all detainees whether or not the Geneva Conventions legally apply during the operation. 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, §§ 402.1 and 407.3–4.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders): “Captured combatants and civilians who are under the authority of the adverse party … have the right to correspond with their families”. 
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, Chapter I, Fundamental Rules, § 4.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) includes amongst the rights to be accorded to prisoners of war: “His correspondence shall be given to him regularly and shall not be interfered with.” 
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. 59; see also p. 37.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) provides: “Captured combatants and civilian persons who are under the power of the adverse Party … have the right to exchange news with their families.” 
Colombia, Transcripción Normas Fundamentales del Derecho Humanitario Aplicables en los Conflictos Armados, Circular No. 033/DIPL-SERPO-526, Policía Nacional, Dirección General, Santafé de Bogotá, 14 May 1992, § 4.
Colombia
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides that, in both international and non-international armed conflicts, detained persons shall have the right to communicate with their families and receive letters. 
Colombia, Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual Básico para las Personerías y las Fuerzas Armadas de Colombia, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 1995, p. 21.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
II. Rights and duties of prisoners of war
The prisoner of war is an enemy combatant hors de combat due to the fact of his capture. As such, he enjoys a legal status which guarantees him rights.
Thus,
- his mail will reach him regularly without being infringed. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 27; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 18.
Croatia
Croatia’s Instructions on Basic Rules of IHL (1993) provides that detainees have the right to correspond with their families. 
Croatia, Instructions “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1993, § 4.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “Captured combatants have the right to exchange news.” 
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, § 2.1.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides that every prisoner of war “is entitled to exchange news, to send letters and to receive mail”. 
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, p. 3.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “Not more than one week after the arrival at a camp, every prisoner of war shall be enabled to inform his family and the Central Prisoners of War Agency by letter of his captivity and to regularly correspond with his relatives henceforth.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 721.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states:
Immediately upon their capture, or not more than one week after their arrival at a camp, prisoners of war shall be enabled to inform, in writing, their families and the Central Prisoners of War Information Agency at the International Committee of the Red Cross (19, avenue de la Paix, CH-1202 Geneva) of their capture. 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten –Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 7.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) provides:
One of the most important provisions in the Geneva Convention are the rules concerning the right of prisoners to maintain correspondence with their relatives … The detaining State may censor the mail of detainees, so long as censorship is not used as a pretext for withholding mail from prisoners. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 53.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Prisoners-of-war must be allowed to exchange letters with their relatives and receive parcels of food, clothing, medicine, religious artefacts, literature and study requisites. The imprisoning country is permitted to censor the prisoners’ post as long as this is not used as an excuse for withholding their post from them. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 33.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides that captured combatants and civilians in the power of the adverse party “shall have the right to exchange news with their families”. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, p. 91, Rule 4.
The manual also provides that prisoners of war “shall be allowed to inform their families and the Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC so that they can correspond regularly with their families”. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche 2-T, § 26.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention III, states: “Prisoners of war are allowed to send and receive letters and cards free of postage.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 167(E).
In a section entitled “Basic rules of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts”, the manual also states: “Captured combatants and civilians under the authority of an adverse party … have the right to correspond with their families”. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 409.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. VII-10.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Correspondence from and for prisoners of war can be limited and censored.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-42.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
In addition to possible action as a protecting power and to gathering information on prisoners of war, the ICRC fulfils the following tasks:
- tracing missing persons and forwarding messages to prisoners of war and civilian detainees. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0243.
The manual further states: “A prisoner of war is entitled to send and receive letters and postcards. The detaining power may limit the number if there is a shortage of translators for the exercise of censorship.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0740.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
Those responsible for internment or imprisonment must observe the following, without limitation:
- to allow the receipt and sending of letters and cards. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1065.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states that “[e]very detainee is entitled to maintain contact with the outside world”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1226.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Immediately upon capture and upon transfer from one place of detention to another, prisoners shall be allowed to send a card to their families and to the Central Prisoners of War Agency giving information of their capture, address and state of health. They shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards and, in exceptional circumstances, telegrams as well. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 929.
The manual further states:
All persons in the territory of the belligerent or in territory occupied by him must be enabled to transmit to, and receive from, members of their families, wherever they may be, news of a strictly personal nature. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1113.
The manual also states:
As soon as he is interned, transferred, or becomes sick, the internee is entitled to send a card to his family and to the Central Information Agency indicating his present location and his state of health. An internee is allowed to correspond frequently but letters may be limited in number, if the Detaining Power finds it necessary, and are subject to its censorship. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1127.
Lastly, the manual specifies that in non-international armed conflicts, detained and interned persons “shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1814(3).
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Manual (1996) provides that prisoners of war have the right to send and receive letters. 
Nicaragua, Manual de Comportamiento y Proceder de las Unidades Militares y de los Miembros del Ejército de Nicaragua en Tiempo de Paz, Conflictos Armados, Situaciones Irregulares o Desastres Naturales, Ejército de Nicaragua, Estado Mayor General, Asesoría Jurídica del Nicaragua, 1996, Article 14(27) and (41).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “POWs [prisoners of war] should be allowed to send and receive cards and letters, free of charge.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 43.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
a. No later than one week after arrival at the camp, every prisoner of war must be allowed to send a capture card to his family and another to the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency, informing them of his capture, address and state of health.
b. The same applies when a prisoner of war is transferred to a hospital or another camp.
c. The purpose of this requirement is to inform the outside world of the whereabouts and situation of prisoners of war.
d. It is not necessary to allow a prisoner of war to send a capture card for a temporary absence from the camp, for example, if he is taken to an interrogation centre for several days.
e. The [1949] Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War contains detailed provisions on other correspondence (at least two letters and four cards a month), censorship … . 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 56.a–e.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states:
a. No later than one week after arrival at the camp, every prisoner of war must be allowed to send a capture card to his family and another to the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency, informing them of his capture, address and state of health.
b. The same applies when a prisoner of war is transferred to a hospital or another camp.
c. The purpose of this requirement is to inform the outside world of the whereabouts and situation of prisoners of war.
d. It is not necessary to allow a prisoner of war to send a capture card for a temporary absence from the camp, for example, if he is taken to an interrogation centre for several days.
e. The [1949] Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War contains detailed provisions on other correspondence (at least two letters and four cards a month), censorship … . 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 57, pp. 262–263.
Poland
Poland’s Prisoner of War Handling Procedures (2009) states: “Within seven days of arrival at the prisoner-of-war camp or hospital, prisoners shall be permitted to write a letter to their families, in order to inform them of their address and state of health … These letters … shall be dispatched as soon as possible.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A020:2000, Procedury postępowania z jeńcami wojennymi, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.3.3.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) provides that captured combatants and civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict shall have the right to communicate with their families. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, Part III, § 4.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Immediately upon capture, or not more than one week after arrival at a camp, even if it is a transit camp, likewise in case of sickness or transfer to hospital or another camp, every prisoner of war shall be enabled to write to the Central Prisoners of War Agency a card informing them of his capture. Besides he has the right to write to his family and inform them of his capture and state of health. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 52.
Senegal
Senegal’s IHL Manual (1999) provides that one of the fundamental guarantees common to IHL conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right of detained persons to send and receive letters and cards whose number may be limited by the competent authority if it deems necessary. 
Senegal, Le DIH adapté au contexte des opérations de maintien de l’ordre, République du Sénégal, Ministère des Forces Armées, Haut Commandement de la Gendarmerie et Direction de la Justice Militaire, Cabinet, 1999, pp. 3 and 24.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. Such authorization may be limited by the Detaining Power and correspondence may be censored.” 
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, § 8.4.(a).6; see also §§ 6.4.(g).1, 6.4.(g).3 and 6.4.(g).4.
Referring to Article 71 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, the manual notes that if the detaining power decides to limit the correspondence sent by the prisoners, the number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly. 
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, § 6.4.(g).1.
The manual also points out that further limitations on the correspondence may only be decided by the protecting power. 
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, § 8.4.(a).6.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Prisoners of war are allowed to send and receive letters and cards. The detaining power can limit the number of letters and cards sent. Correspondence can be censored.”  
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, § 8.4.a.(6); see also § 6.4.g and 6.4.g.(3).
The manual also states: “If the detaining power decides to limit correspondence sent by prisoners, they must be allowed to send at least two letters and four cards a month.” 
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, § 6.4.g.(1).
The manual further states: “Parties to the conflict can prohibit correspondence for military or political reasons. The prohibition must, however, be only temporary and last as short a time as possible.” 
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, § 6.4.g.(4); see also § 2.4.a.(4).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states:
Each prisoner of war shall be enabled to inform immediately or as rapidly as possible his family and the Central Prisoners of War Agency in case of illness or transfer to another camp. The prisoner shall be allowed to receive and send correspondence, and in urgent cases it shall be permitted to send telegrams …
Any prohibition of correspondence ordered for military or political reasons shall be only temporary and its duration shall be as short as possible. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Articles 133 and 137.
According to the manual, the same rules are also applicable to internees. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 182.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
160 … [M]ilitary necessity may not be invoked to justify disrespect for the international law of armed conflict, unless this is expressly provided for by the rules.
161 Thus, for example, … a temporary prohibition of correspondence may be imposed on prisoners of war, if required for military or political reasons (Art. 76 of Geneva Convention III). 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 160–161.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides that captured enemy combatants and civilians shall have the right to exchange news with their families. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 5.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Within, at the most, 7 days of capture … every prisoner of war shall be enabled to write and send a card of capture … :
one – to his family;
another – to the Central Prisoners of War Agency.
In case of transfer, prisoners of war shall be officially notified of the time of departure and their new postal address. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.5.4.16.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states:
Internees must be permitted to send and receive letters and postcards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to impose limitations, the number permitted must not be less than two letters and four cards monthly. Letters and cards must be conveyed with reasonable dispatch and must not be held up as a disciplinary measure. Internees who have been a long time without news or cannot obtain news from their relatives and those who are a long distance from their homes must be allowed to send telegrams at their own expense. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 67.
The manual further specifies:
Prisoners of war must be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. In addition to the capture card, they must be allowed to send at least two letters and four cards every month. Limitations on correspondence addressed to prisoners of war may be imposed only by the state on which they depend. The Detaining Power may request such a limitation. All correspondence must be conveyed as rapidly as possible, and must not be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons. Prisoners of war who have not been in touch with their families for a long time or who are at a great distance from their homes must be allowed to send telegrams at their own expense. The same applies in case of emergency. As a general rule they must be permitted to correspond in their native language. Bags containing prisoner of war mail must be labelled as such, sealed and addressed to offices of destination. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 189.
In addition, the manual provides: “Prisoners undergoing disciplinary punishment must be allowed to read and write and to send and receive letters.” 
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, § 219.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “PW [prisoners of war] must be allowed to send a capture card to the Protecting Power and to their next of kin no later than the time of their arrival in a PW camp.” 
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, Section 8, p. 31, § 16(f).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states in its chapter on the protection of civilians in the hands of a party to the conflict, when discussing conditions of internment:
9.45. Immediately on internment, or within one week of arrival at an internment camp, each internee must be allowed to write one card to his family and another to the Central Information Agency informing them of his internment, address and state of health. This also applies in the event of sickness, admission to hospital or transfer to another camp. Internment cards must be forwarded as rapidly as possible.
9.61. Internees must be permitted to send letters and cards. If the detaining power deems it necessary to impose limitations, the number permitted must not be less than two letters and four cards each month. This is in addition to the internment card. Letters and cards must be conveyed with reasonable despatch and must not be held up as a disciplinary measure. Internees, in urgent cases, or who have been a long time without news or cannot obtain news from their relatives as well as those who are a long distance from their homes, must be allowed to send telegrams at their own expense. States are under a duty to reduce telegram charges as much as possible. Correspondence is normally to be in the internee’s native language unless the detaining power authorizes correspondence in another language.
9.62. Internees must be allowed to receive all letters and cards addressed to them. Restrictions may only be imposed by the power on which they depend though this can be at the request of the detaining power. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 9.45 and 9.61–9.62.
On prisoners of war, the manual states:
Immediately on capture, or within one week of arrival at a camp, each prisoner of war must be allowed to write one card to his family and another to the Central Prisoners of War Agency informing them of his capture, address and state of health, see the illustration in [appendix]. This also applies in cases of sickness, removal to hospital or transfer to another camp. The cards must be forwarded as rapidly as possible. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.42.
The manual adds:
Prisoners of war must be allowed to send, in addition to the capture cards, at least two letters and four postcards every month. This quota does not include complaints, correspondence between prisoners’ representatives at labour detachments and those in the main camp, and official correspondence by medical officers and chaplains … Prisoners of war must be allowed to receive all letters and cards addressed to them … All correspondence must be conveyed as rapidly as possible and must not be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons.  
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 8.62.–8.64.
The manual further states: “All prisoners of war sentenced to confinement have the rights to … receive and send correspondence.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.144.
With regard to internal armed conflicts in which the 1977 Additional Protocol II is applicable, the manual provides:
Those responsible for the internment or detention are also placed under obligation “within the limits of their capabilities” to “respect” some further provisions relating to persons interned or detained for reasons relating to the armed conflict. These are:
b. that all persons whose liberty has been restricted in any way whatsoever for reasons related to the armed conflict shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards, the number of which may be limited by the competent authority if it deems necessary. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.41.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Articles 70 and 71 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Articles 25, 106 and 107 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
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, §§ 146, 147, 264, 313 and 314.
United States of America
The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) provides: “Even though you are a prisoner (or internee), you are entitled to send and receive mail. Each prisoner must be allowed to write a minimum of two letters and four postal cards per month.” 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, p. 11.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “The prisoner of war shall be permitted to send out a capture card addressed to the Central Prisoners of War Agency for its card index system.” The Pamphlet further specifies that Article 71 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III entitles them “to mail a minimum of 2 letters and 4 cards each month”. It adds: “This minimum may be reduced if the protecting power finds that to be required by necessary censorship. POWs are also allowed to send telegrams under certain circumstances.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 13-7.
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Law on Juvenile Rehabilitation and Training Centres (2009) states regarding the detention of juveniles:
[Contact] with Family
[The persons] in charge of [a] juvenile’s justice rehabilitation centre … [have the] duty … to [ensure that juveniles, whether] suspected, accused [or] sentenced to imprisonment [are able] to communicate with their family, [through] visit, … mail or other ways that should not disturb [the] facility’s regulation. 
Afghanistan, Law on Juvenile Rehabilitation and Training Centres, 2009, Article 24.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides:
Prisoners of war are entitled to the following in all cases: … to write messages to their relatives (directly through the adverse party and points of exchange, or through the Protecting Powers or their substitute – ICRC). 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 22(5).
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).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Procedure Code (2003) states:
(3)... A detainee may be prohibited from sending and receiving letters and other mail, but not from sending a request, complaint or appeal.
(4) A detainee shall be prohibited from using cellular phone but shall have the right, subject to internal regulations of the custody, to make telephone calls at his own expense. To that end, the detention administration shall provide the detainees with a sufficient number of public telephone connections. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Procedure Code, 2003, Article 144(3) and (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).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Articles 70 and 71 of the Geneva Convention III and Articles 25 and 107 of the Geneva Convention IV, as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 5(2)(b), are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Japan
Japan’s Law Concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations (2004) states:
Article 83
Correspondence with detainees may not be prohibited or restricted, other than that which is provided for in this Section.
Article 84
(1) The prisoner-of-war camp commander may, pursuant to an Ordinance of the Ministry of Defence, impose restrictions necessary for the adequate pursuance of the internment concerning the manner in preparing and the number of letters, and the procedures for sending or receiving letters of detainees; provided, however, that this shall not apply to letters that the prisoners’ representatives or the assistants to the prisoners’ representatives send to national or local government agencies, protecting powers, the designated Red Cross International Organization, or designated assisting organizations and that contain matters under the authority of the prisoners’ representatives or the assistants to the prisoners’ representatives pursuant to the provision of Article 80 and other provisions of the Third Convention [1949 Geneva Convention III]. 
Japan, Law concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Other Detainees in Armed Attack Situations, 2004, Articles 83 and 84(1).
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.
Philippines
The Philippines’ Republic Act No. 9344 (2006), the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, provides: “A child in conflict with the law shall have the right to maintain contact with his/her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances.” 
Philippines, Republic Act No. 9344, 2006, Section 5(d).
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Prison Order (1961) provides that prisoners are entitled to correspond with their families. 
Rwanda, Prison Order, 1961, Article 51.
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
A commander who causes serious harm to lawful enemy belligerents who have fallen into his power … by not according them the treatment prescribed by law or by international agreements … shall be punished, unless the act constitutes a more serious offence, by military confinement for not less than three years. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 382.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Prisons Ordinance (1878), as amended to 2005, states:
PART X
OFFENCES IN RELATION TO PRISONS
75. Whoever, without lawful authority, conveys or attempts to convey any letter or other writing to any prisoner in custody, whether within or without any prison, or from any such prisoner to any other person, and every prison officer who aids and abets any person in committing any offence under this section, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty rupees, or to imprisonment of either description, for any period not exceeding three months, or to both.
78. A prisoner shall be guilty of an offence against prison discipline if he –
(xvi) without the authority of a prison officer, communicates whether by writing, speech or gesture with any person who is not connected with the administration of the prison;
(xxiii) writes or receives any unauthorized letter or communication …
PART XII
MISCELLANEOUS
94. (1) The Minister may from time to time make all such rules, not inconsistent with this Ordinance or any other written law relating to prisons, as may be necessary for the administration of the prisons in Sri Lanka and for carrying out or giving effect to the provisions and principles of this Ordinance.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, the Minister may make rules for all or any of the following purposes or matters:–
(h) … correspondence or other communication with prisoners. 
Sri Lanka, Prisons Ordinance, 1878, as amended to 2005, Articles 75, 78(xvi) and (xxiii), 94(1) and (2)(h).
These articles apply to persons deprived of their liberty under Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005) pursuant to section 19 of these regulations.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005), as amended to 2008, states:
SUPERVISION, SEARCH, ARREST AND DETENTION
19. (1) Where the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence is of [the] opinion with respect to any person that, with a view to preventing such person –
(a) from acting in any manner prejudicial to … national security or to the maintenance of public order, or to the maintenance of essential services; or
(b) from acting in any manner contrary to any of the provisions of sub-paragraph (a) or sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (2) of regulation 40 or regulation 25 of these regulations, it is necessary so to do, the Secretary may order that such person be taken into custody and detained in custody …
(3) … [W]here such person is so detained in a prison established under the Prisons Ordinance –
(a) all the provisions of Ordinance other than the provisions of Part IX of that Ordinance [allowing prisoners to receive visits from, and communicate with, their relations, friends and legal adviser], and
(b) all the rules made under that Ordinance other than the rules which relate to … the correspondence of, prisoners,
shall apply to such person as though he were a civil prisoner within the meaning of that Ordinance :
Provided however, that the Inspector-General of Police may, where he considers it expedient so to do –
(b) permit … the correspondence of, such person in such manner and at such time and place, as the Inspector-General of Police may from time to time direct. 
Sri Lanka, Emergency Regulations, 2005, as amended to 2008, Sections 19(1) and (3).
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act (2007) states:
[A]ny peace officer shall not detain in custody or otherwise confine a person arrested without a warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable and such period shall not exceed twenty-four hours …
Provided that where the arrest is in relation to an offence as is specified in the Schedule to this Act, such period of detention in police custody may, … be extended upon an order made … by the Magistrate for a further period not exceeding twenty-four hours …:
Provided further, that any person arrested and detained for a further period shall be afforded an opportunity … to communicate with any relative or friend of his choice during the period of such detention. 
Sri Lanka, Code of Criminal Procedure (Special Provisions) Act, 2007, Article 2.
Canada
In 2008, in the Amnesty International Canada case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed an application for judicial review on the basis of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with respect to persons detained by the Canadian Forces (CF) in Afghanistan and their transfer to Afghan authorities. The Federal Court stated:
[13] To assist in resolving this dispute in a timely and efficient manner, the parties have jointly agreed to have the issue of whether the Charter applies in the context [of] Canada’s military involvement in the armed conflict in Afghanistan determined on the basis of the following questions, pursuant to Rule 107(1) of the Federal Courts Rules:
1. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply during the armed conflict in Afghanistan to the detention of non-Canadians by the Canadian Forces or their transfer to Afghan authorities to be dealt with by those authorities?
2. If the answer to the above question is “NO” then would the Charter nonetheless apply if the Applicants were ultimately able to establish that the transfer of the detainees in question would expose them to a substantial risk of torture?
[16] For the reasons that follow, I have determined that the answer to both of the questions posed by the motion is “No”. As a result, the applicants’ application for judicial review must therefore be dismissed.
II. Background
[44] Even before the Afghan Compact was concluded, the governments of Canada and Afghanistan had signed a document outlining the nature of Canada’s involvement and powers within Afghanistan: see the “Technical Arrangements between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”, dated December 18, 2005.
[47] The Technical Arrangements further provide that:
Canadian personnel may need to use force (including deadly force) to ensure the accomplishment of their operational objectives, the safety of the deployed force, including designated persons, designated property, and designated locations. Such measures could include the use of close air support, firearms or other weapons; the detention of persons; and the seizure of arms and other materiel. Detainees would be afforded the same treatment as Prisoners of War. Detainees would be transferred to Afghan authorities in a manner consistent with international law and subject to negotiated assurances regarding their treatment and transfer. …
[59] Theatre Standing Order 321A further provides that while in Canadian custody, detainees are to be “treated fairly and humanely” in accordance with “applicable international law and CF Doctrine”.
IV. Does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply during the armed conflict in Afghanistan to the detention of non-Canadians by the Canadian forces or their transfer to Afghan authorities to be dealt with by those authorities?
[162] Insofar as the relationship between the Governments of Afghanistan and Canada is concerned, the two countries have expressly identified international law, including international humanitarian law, as the law governing the treatment of detainees in Canadian custody.
[166] … [I]n relation to the treatment of detainees, Article 1.2 of the Technical Arrangements provides that detainees are to be afforded “the same treatment as Prisoners of War”, and are to be transferred to Afghan authorities “in a manner consistent with international law and subject to negotiated assurances regarding their treatment and transfer.” …
[179] The understanding between the Governments of Afghanistan and Canada that Afghan and international law are the legal regimes to be applied to the detainees in Canadian custody is also reflected in Canadian documents dealing with the treatment of detainees.
[180] In particular, Task Force Afghanistan’s Theatre Standing Order 321A recognizes international law as the appropriate standard governing the treatment of detainees. In this regard, Article 3 states that it is Canadian Forces policy that all detainees be treated to the standard required for prisoners of war, which it describes as being the highest standard required under international law.
[181] Moreover, Article 18 of TSO 321A provides that while in Canadian custody, detainees are to be “treated fairly and humanely” in accordance with “applicable international law and CF Doctrine”. …
VI. Conclusion
[336] … [A] number of concerns … flow from the Court’s finding that the Charter does not apply in the circumstances of this case.
[337] As was noted by Justice Binnie in Hape, the content of human rights protections provided by international law is weaker, and their scope more debatable than Charter guarantees …
[338] Moreover, the enforcement mechanisms for those standards may not be as robust as those available under the Charter, and have even been described as “rather gentle” …
[342] That said, the Supreme Court of Canada has carefully considered the scope of the Charter’s extraterritorial reach in R. v. Hape, and has concluded that its reach is indeed very limited. Applying the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Hape to the facts of this case leads to the conclusion that the Charter does not apply to the actions of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan in issue here.
[343] Before concluding, it must be noted that the finding that the Charter does not apply does not leave detainees in a legal “no-man’s land”, with no legal rights or protections. The detainees have the rights conferred on them by the Afghan Constitution. In addition, whatever their limitations may be, the detainees also have the rights conferred on them by international law, and, in particular, by international humanitarian law. 
Canada, Federal Court, Amnesty International Canada case, Judgment, 12 March 2008, §§ 13, 16, 44, 47, 59, 162, 166, 179–181, 336–338 and 342–343.
[emphasis in original]
The Federal Court of Appeal subsequently upheld the findings of the Federal Court. It stated:
I conclude that the motions judge made no errors in answering the way she did the two questions that were before her. The Charter has no application to the situations therein described. There is no legal vacuum, considering that the applicable law is international humanitarian law. 
Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Amnesty International Canada case, Judgment, 17 December 2008, § 36.
Algeria
It is reported that, during the Algerian war of independence, “French prisoners never had any reason to complain about their stay in captivity … They had the right to write to their families via the Algerian Red Crescent.” 
La révolution algérienne tient au respect de l’homme, El Moudjahid, Vol. 3, p. 57.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, under the heading “Basic rules of IHL” and in a section on “Treatment”, stated: “Civilians, combatants [and] captured enemies ... must be allowed to correspond with their families.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
France
The instructions given to the French armed forces for the conduct of Opération Mistral, simulating a military operation under the right of self-defence or a mandate of the UN Security Council, state that detainees “have the right to correspond with their families”. 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1995, Section 6, § 62.
Malaysia
According to the Report on the Practice of Malaysia, during the communist insurgency, correspondence was allowed in detention camps. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Chapter 5.3.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [w]here vessels were captured, the protections provided in the Second and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 and [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I continued to apply to the persons on board the vessels. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
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 5 prescribing humane treatment of persons whose liberty ha[s] been restricted … 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.
Sri Lanka
In 2009, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
The … [Directives Issued by the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence on 7 July 2006] also take[] measures to regulate arrests:
(d) The Directives … specify that the person arrested should be afforded reasonable means of communicating with a relative or friend. 
Sri Lanka, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, 23 September 2010, UN Doc. CAT/C/LKA/3-4, submitted 17 August 2009, Annex, § 33(d); see also § 29 of the report.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states: “The [Central Tracing] Agency works with the national authorities’ official information services, ICRC delegates and other institutions active in the field. It … conveys messages and helps to reunite families.” 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, p. 9.
Switzerland
In 2011, in answer to an interpellation in Parliament, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “Switzerland will continue to remind the de facto authorities in Gaza of their obligations in the area of international humanitarian law. Switzerland also calls on the de facto authorities in Gaza to allow Gilad Shalit to be in a regular contact with his family.” 
Switzerland, Answer by the Federal Council to interpellation 10.3991 in Parliament regarding the right of Gilad Shalit to receive visits from the ICRC, 16 February 2011.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in a reply to a written question in the House of Commons, the UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence, wrote:
In accordance with Article 70 of the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, upon capture, and subsequently following any change in location, every prisoner of war is given the opportunity to write direct to his or her family, and through the completion of a Capture Card, to the Central Prisoners of War Agency in Geneva. Prisoner of war details are given to the International Committee for the Red Cross who have the responsibility for the distribution of letters, parcels and Capture Cards. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence, Hansard, 14 April 2003, Vol. 403, Written Answers, col. 572W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, during a debate in the House of Lords, the UK Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated:
We have made representations to the United States Government in regard to the physical conditions under which the individuals are held – for example, the inadequate facilities for exercise and the inadequate facilities for contact with their families. Representatives of the International Red Cross have visited Guantanamo Bay and are giving their advice to the United States Government. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 17 July 2003, Vol. 651, Debates, col. 967.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated that no prisoner of war in the hands of Iraq “was permitted the rights otherwise afforded them by [the 1949 Geneva Convention III], such as the right of correspondence authorized by Article 70”. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 630.
United States of America
According to the Report on US Practice, “Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II] reflect general US policy on treatment of persons in the power of an adverse party in armed conflicts governed by common Article 3” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The report also notes: “It is the opinio juris of the US that persons detained in connection with an internal armed conflict are entitled to humane treatment as specified in Articles 4, 5 and 6 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol II].” 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 5.3.
United States of America
In August 2003, the US State Department issued a written response to an opinion issued by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), dated 8 May 2003, that had referred to a UNCHR Working Group report on Arbitrary Detention, dated 8 January 2003, which was critical of US policy regarding detainees held at the US naval bay at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In disagreeing with the UNCHR reports, and noting that the competence of the Working Group did not extend to the laws and customs of war, the US response stated:
Detainees are also permitted to communicate with family and friends at home via letters and postcards. They use either the U.S. military postal service, or the ICRC, which delivers mail via its offices in each country. The volume of communications is not insubstantial; from January 2002 (when detainees first began to arrive) to July 2002, the United States military delivered over 1,600 pieces of mail sent out by detainees and delivered over 300 pieces of mail sent to detainees. 
United States, State Department, Response to UNCHR Opinion No. 5/2003 of 8 May 2003 and the Communication of 8 January 2003 of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, August 2003.
United States of America
In March 2006, the US Government issued a written response to a report produced by a group of five special rapporteurs to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, dated 16 February 2006, which was critical of US policy regarding detainees held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The US Government’s response stated in part:
[Detainees are provided with] the means to send and receive mail, including confidential mail for those detainees who have appointed counsel. Over 43,120 pieces of mail have either been sent or received by detainees at Guantanamo since it was opened. Some 18,580 pieces of mail were processed in calendar year 2005. 
United States, Reply of the Government of the United States of America to the Report of the Five UNCHR Special Rapporteurs on Detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 10 March 2006, p. 6.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon all States “[t]o ensure that, if they are arrested, detained or imprisoned, children … shall have the right to maintain contact with their family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances”.  
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/44, 19 April 2005, § 27(d), voting record: 52-1-0.
No data.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1965)
The 20th International Conference of the Red Cross in 1965 adopted a resolution on the treatment of prisoners of war in which it recognized that “the international community has consistently demanded … the facilitation of communication between prisoners of war and the exterior”. 
20th International Conference of the Red Cross, Vienna, 2–9 October 1965, Res. XXIV.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1969)
The 21st International Conference of the Red Cross in 1969 adopted a resolution on the protection of prisoners of war in which it recognized that, irrespective of the 1949 Geneva Convention III, “the international community has consistently demanded humane treatment for prisoners of war, including … authorisation for prisoners to communicate with each other and with the exterior”. 
21st International Conference of the Red Cross, Istanbul, 6–13 September 1969, Res. XI.
No data.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that “prisoners of war are allowed to send and receive letters and cards” and that “the censoring of correspondence … shall be done as quickly as possible.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 716–717; see also 839 (application mutatis mutandis of the regulations for the treatment of POWs to civilian internees).
ICRC
In the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the ICRC had registered some 6,800 Iranian prisoners of war by 1 March 1983. The organization stated that these prisoners had been able “to correspond with their families in a satisfactory manner”. 
ICRC, Conflict between Iraq and Iran: ICRC Appeal, IRRC, No. 235, 1983, p. 221.
No data.