Practice Relating to Rule 30. Persons and Objects Displaying the Distinctive Emblem

ICC Statute
Pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(xxiv) and (e)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law” 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)(xxiv) and (e)(ii).
Report of the Commission on Responsibility
Based on several documents supplying evidence of outrages committed during the First World War, the 1919 Report of the Commission on Responsibility lists violations of the laws and customs of war which should be subject to criminal prosecution, including the “breach of … rules relating to the Red Cross”. 
Report submitted to the Preliminary Conference of Versailles by the Commission on Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties, Versailles, 29 March 1919.
Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles
In the 1991 Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, the Presidents of the six republics of the former Yugoslavia stated that “the Red Cross emblem must be respected”. 
Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, signed by the Presidents of the Six Republics of the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, 5 November 1991.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 10 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia provides that “the parties shall repress … any attack on persons or property under [the] protection [of the red cross emblem]”. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 10.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 3 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina provides:
The Red Cross emblem shall be respected. The Parties undertake to use the emblem only to identify medical units and personnel and to comply with the other rules of international humanitarian law relating to the use of the Red Cross emblem and shall repress any misuse of the emblem or attacks on person or property under its protection. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 3.
Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action
Paragraph II(7) of the 1992 Agreement No. 3 between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ICRC Plan of Action provides:
[T]he ICRC requests all parties to accept their responsibilities and take the following essential measures, which constitute a prerequisite for the resumption of ICRC activities throughout the territory of B-H [Bosnia and Herzegovina]:
7. Enforce respect for the red cross emblem, in accordance with Article 3 of Agreement No. 1 signed in Geneva on 22 May 1992. 
Agreement No. 3 between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representative of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community) on the ICRC Plan of Action, Geneva, 6 June 1992, § II(7).
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 9.7 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “The United Nations force shall in all circumstances respect the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 9.7.
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/1
The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(b)(xxiv) and (e)(ii), “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law” 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, § 6(1)(b)(xxiv) and (e)(ii).
N’Djamena Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance
Article 5 of the 2004 N’Djamena Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance states:
The humanitarian agencies will work on a transparent and apolitical basis. Information will be openly shared. There will be in particular a regular flow of information from the humanitarian agencies to the authorities concerned, and vice-versa. The humanitarian agencies will make the humanitarian assistance, their personnel and materials clearly identifiable by the parties, who will respect the emblems. 
Protocol on the Establishment of Humanitarian Assistance in Darfur, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, annexed to the N’Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement, signed by the Government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army, the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement, the African Union and the Chadian Mediation, N’Djamena, 8 April 2004, Article 5.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides that “firing upon … the Red Cross symbol” constitutes a grave breach or a serious war crime likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(q); see also Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1305(q).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) instructs soldiers: “Respect and protect persons and objects displaying the red cross [or] red crescent emblem.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, pp. 18–19.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, each soldier must respect “the emblems of the Red Cross and of national Red Cross societies which are protective signs as such”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 31.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 31: Humanitarian rules
Every soldier must:
- respect medical units, establishments and transports, hospital zones and localities, places where the wounded and sick, civilian or military, are collected, the emblems of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent and national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, which are protective signs as such, as well as medical personnel;
For the application of the rules addressed in the two preceding paragraphs,
the medical and religious personnel, apart from their distinctive emblem, must carry the special identity card defined by the Geneva Conventions.
These rules apply to the extent possible to operations undertaken by airplanes and navy ships against targets on land or at sea. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 31.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states, with respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular:
Medical and religious personnel, together with medical units and transports shall, under the direction of the competent authority concerned, display the distinctive emblem of the Red Cross or Red Crescent which emblem is to be respected at all times. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-4, § 33.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) states:
International law provides special protection to personnel and facilities displaying the Red Cross or Red Crescent … Medical personnel and their medical facilities/buildings and transport displaying the distinctive emblem must not be attacked. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 10, § 1.
Canada
Rule 10 of Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states:
1. International law provides special protection to personnel and facilities displaying the Red Cross or Red Crescent. To secure such protection, all forces should display the Red Cross/Red Crescent on their medical personnel, facilities and transports. Medical personnel and their medical facilities/buildings and transport displaying the distinctive emblem must not be attacked …
4. … The Red Cross/Red Crescent flag will only be used on medical establishments or units entitled to protection under the Geneva Convention. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 10, §§ 1 and 4.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders): “Respect persons and objects bearing the sign of the red cross or red crescent”. 
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 V, Section II, § 10.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “bearers of the Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem” are protected and may 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. 38; see also pp. 26 and 47.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) provides: “The emblem of the red cross (red crescent, red lion and sun) is the sign of that protection [of medical personnel, units and transports] and must be respected.” 
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, § 3.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1. Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what must be protected?
- a person displaying the emblem of the red cross (red crescent),
Lesson 2. Identification
II.2 Persons and objects under special protection
- a person displaying the emblem of the red cross (red crescent),
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 11]:
Respect persons and objects bearing
- the emblem of the red cross, red crystal or red crescent,
[Observation]:
These persons and objects benefit from a special protection according to the Geneva Conventions. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13–15, 17, 19 and 21–22; 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. 16; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 39; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 66.
In Book II (Instruction of non-commissioned officers and officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
1.2.2. Additional Protocol III of 2005
In 2005, a third Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 was adopted. This treaty established an additional emblem, the red crystal, which benefits from the same status as the existing emblems of the red cross and red crescent.
According to the law, this emblem offers the same protection as the red cross [and] the red crescent to the personnel, the establishments or the vehicles of the military medical services; to the personnel of National Societies; [and] to the staff and structures of the ICRC and the International Federation [of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies]. 
Côte d’Ivoire, 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, pp. 21–22.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Disciplinary Regulations (1982) states:
Combatants must … respect medical units, establishments and transports, buildings and places where wounded and sick civilians and combatants are gathered and the emblems of the Red Crescent, the Red Cross and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which are protective signs for them and for medical personnel. 
Djibouti, Décret no. 82-028/PR/DEF du 5 mai 1982 portant règlement de la discipline générale dans les Forces armées, Article 30(2).
Ethiopia
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), “members of the enemy forces who wear clearly identifiable symbols (insignia) of medical or religious personnel” do not constitute military objectives. 
Ethiopia, Standing Rules of Engagement, National Defense Force, Addis Ababa, 2007, § 8.4.4.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states:
The specific immunity granted to certain persons and objects by the law of war must be strictly observed. Specifically protected persons and objects can be identified by the display of the emblem of the red cross, red crescent or red lion and sun. 
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, § 2.2.
The manual qualifies “attacks against marked property” as a war crime. 
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, § 3.4.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides that the red cross and red crescent emblems “indicate that the persons, material and installations which display them have a special protected status and may not be made the object of attack or violence”. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 61.
Under the heading “Red Cross and Red Crescent (rules of protection)”, the manual also provides:
The emblem appears on the flags, buildings, installations and mobile units of the medical units, on their means of transportation as well as on the armlets, headgear and clothing of the medical and religious personnel.
Protected are therefore:
- the medical personnel, military or civilian, of the parties to the conflict, including that of civil defence organizations;
- the medical personnel of the national societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and of other national aid societies authorized by one of the parties to the conflict;
- the religious personnel permanently or temporarily attached to the armed forces, medical units and means of transportation, or civil defence organizations. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 46.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
The distinctive emblem of medical and religious personnel as well as that of medical establishments (including hospital ships), medical transports, medical material and hospital zones is the red cross on a white ground. Countries which wish to use the red crescent in place of the red cross shall be free to do so. The two distinctive emblems have no religious significance; they must be equally respected in all places, and at all times. 
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, § 637.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Combat operations may not be directed against persons or objects that are under the protection of the red cross or other distinctive emblems.” 
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. 3.
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010), under the heading “Distinctive signs”, shows an image of a building with a red cross on a white ground and states: “Leave these buildings [and] establishments … untouched”. 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 13.
Under the same heading, the manual also shows an image of a person bearing a red cross on a white ground and states: “Let these persons complete their task.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 12.
Under the same heading and in a section on “Medical services (military and civilian)”, the manual lists the red cross, red crescent and red crystal on a white ground and states: “Respect those bearing … these signs.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 11.
Under the heading “Rules of conduct in combat”, the manual further states: “Respect persons bearing and property marked: with the emblem of the red cross or red crescent.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 16.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) includes persons and objects displaying the red cross or red crescent emblem among specifically protected persons objects. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 44.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Air Force Manual (1990) requires respect for persons and objects displaying the distinctive emblem. 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, § 54.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) provides a list of “Soldiers Rules”, one of which is: “Respect all persons and objects bearing the Red Cross, Red Crescent and other recognised symbols of humanitarian agencies.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 13.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “It is forbidden to harm those wearing the Red Cross symbol or to make false use of this insignia.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 35.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides that, during military operations, persons and objects displaying the distinctive emblems must be respected. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, p. 30.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states:
Medical personnel, equipment and facilities, as well as medical and military religious support personnel, are protected by the emblem “Red cross on a white background” or “Red crescent on a white background” or by both emblems appearing together.
IT IS PROHIBITED to carry out hostile acts of any type against people and objects protected by these emblems, except in cases of legitimate defence.
In addition to the red cross and the red crescent, many other emblems are used by countries but are not recognized by the Conventions. They are all characterized by a red emblem on a white background: even if these emblems do not enjoy international protection, it is advisable to respect them, whenever they are known. 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 242.
[emphasis in original]
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) instructs soldiers to “respect all persons and objects bearing the emblem of the Red Cross [or] Red Crescent”. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 14.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Teaching Manual (1997) provides for respect for hospitals, ships and medical aircraft displaying the red cross or red crescent emblem. 
Lebanon, Manuel de l’Instruction Nationale dans l’Armée Libanaise, 1997, p. 77.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) instructs soldiers to “respect persons and objects displaying the distinctive emblem” of the medical service and religious personnel, whether military or civilian. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 4-T, § 24.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states: “Respect all persons and objects bearing the emblem of the red cross or red crescent … unless you receive orders to the contrary.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(h).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
0248. Although the Red Lion and Sun Society is still mentioned in the conventions of the humanitarian law of war, no organization of that name has existed since the Iranian revolution of 1980 (the end of the State of Persia). Iran has dissolved the society, and the emblem is no longer used.
0249. In Israel, the symbol of the Red Star of David is used. This is recognized de facto if not officially. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0248–0249.
In its chapter on the protection of the wounded and sick, the manual states:
0620. Medical units must be respected and protected. They may not be attacked … A safe distance must therefore be kept between medical installations and military objectives, otherwise inadvertent misuse of the emblem becomes possible (the red cross emblem: see point 0632).
Section 7 - Identification
0632. The general rule is that the ability to identify medical personnel, chaplains, medical units and transports must be assured as well as possible. For this purpose, the prescribed emblem and the prescribed recognition signals must be used. In addition to the emblem of a red cross on a white background, a red crescent on a white background is displayed … The red cross emblem on a white background derives from the Swiss flag, with the colours reversed. The emblem is heraldic and devoid of religious significance.
0633. The emblem should be as large as possible in the prevailing circumstances. At night, or when visibility is reduced, the emblem may be lighted or illuminated. Where possible, it may also be made of materials rendering it recognizable by technical means of detection, for example, reflective or fluorescent.
0634. Identity card and armband
Medical and religious personnel must wear an armlet, bearing the emblem, on their left arm. Such personnel must also carry a special identity card.
0635. Medical auxiliary personnel must wear a white armlet showing the emblem, in reduced dimensions, while they are performing their medical activities. Their military proof of identity must mention the temporary nature of their activities and their right to wear the armlet.
0636. The Convention on the Wounded and Sick requires that medical units and medical means of transport must make the emblems clearly visible to the adversary, where military requirements permit. In past decades, this has increasingly been understood to mean that medical units and means of transport must, in principle, be marked so as to be visible both from the ground and from the air. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0620 and 0632–0636.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
1059. The Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem must be worn visibly by medical and religious personnel. It must be visibly displayed on medical units and means of transport. The emblem must be respected in all circumstances, and may not be misused.
1067. It is prohibited deliberately to direct attacks against buildings, equipment, medical units, transport and personnel using the emblems of the Geneva Conventions. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 1059 and 1067.
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Manual (2006) states:
Members of the Nicaraguan Armed Forces, while carrying out missions related to a situation of international armed conflict, shall act in conformity with the rules and principles of the international law of armed conflict … , or international humanitarian law … They shall thus apply and respect the following measures:
2. To guarantee the protection of and respect for establishments and mobile units of the health service which are appropriately identified with the Red Cross emblem, such as:
- Hospitals.
- Blood transfusion centres.
- Medical warehouses.
- Field hospitals.
- Tents …
- Hospital ships.
7. Respect for and protection of the military ships appropriately identified with the Red Cross emblem. 
Nicaragua, Manual de Comportamiento y Proceder de los Miembros del Ejército de Nicaragua en Tiempo de Paz, Conflictos Armados, Situaciones Irregulares o de Desastres Provocados por Fenómenos Naturales o Antropogénicos, Ejército de Nicaragua, Estado Mayor General, 2006, Article 22(2) and (7).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Soldiers’ Code of Conduct states: “Signs which protect the wounded, sick, medical, Red Cross/Crescent personnel, ambulances and Red Cross/Crescent relief transports, hospitals, first aid posts, etc. must be identified and respected.” 
Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 5.
Philippines
The Rules for Combatants (1989) of the Philippines provides: “It is forbidden to attack the persons, vehicles and installations which are protected by the Red Cross sign.” 
Philippines, Rules for Combatants, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(II), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 2.
Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines instructs soldiers to “respect all persons and objects bearing the emblem of the Red Cross, Red Crescent [or] Red Lion and Sun”. 
Philippines, Soldier’s Rules, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(I), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 10.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) prohibits attacks against buildings displaying the emblem. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 19.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “The prohibited methods of warfare include … attacking medical units [and] medical transports marked with proper distinctive emblems (signs) and using appropriate signals.” 
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, § 7.
With regard to internal armed conflict, the Regulations states:
[T]he distinctive emblem (a red cross on a white ground) shall be carried and displayed in clearly visible places by the medical and religious personnel, medical units and medical transports. It shall be respected in all circumstances. 
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, § 83.
Senegal
Senegal’s IHL Manual (1999) states: “The emblem of the red cross and red crescent ensures the protection of medical personnel, units and transports.” 
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, p. 16.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
[The distinctive emblems] are signs of protection conferred by the Geneva Conventions. It is meant to tell combatant[s] that all persons and objects (i.e. National Red [Cross or Red Crescent] Society Volunteers, medical personnel, ICRC delegates, medical units and their equipment – including buildings, vehicles, ambulances, sanitation trains, hospital ships, costal rescue boats, helicopters and planes) bearing these signs are under special protection.
Responsibility
- Respect and protect all persons and objects bearing these protective signs.
- Don’t attack persons bearing emblems because they protect war victims.
- Protect all medical units, staff and their equipment. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 48 and 52; see also p. 29.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states that “[a]ny unlawful attack on a clearly recognised protected object” 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, § 57.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Respect all persons and objects bearing the emblem of the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal.” 
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, § 10.3.e.(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides:
The distinctive emblem (red cross, red crescent) serves to indicate, under control of the military authority, the establishments, units, personnel, vehicles and material. It must not be used for other purposes. The emblem indicates that those who wear it must be respected and protected. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 94.
The manual further refers to Article 111 of the Military Criminal Code (see infra) which qualifies “acts of hostility against persons protected by the red cross” and “destruction of objects protected by the red cross” as war crimes. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 200(c) and (d).
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) instructs soldiers: “Respect and protect persons and objects displaying the red cross [or] red crescent emblem.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 19.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “The following methods of warfare shall be prohibited: … attacks against medical units or sanitary [medical] transport which possess necessary distinctive emblems (signs) and signals”. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.3.2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides that “persons, units or establishments displaying either sign [red cross or red crescent] are protected from attack”. 
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 4, p. 16, § 9.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) refers in its chapter on enforcement of the law of armed conflict to “attacking a properly marked hospital ship or medical aircraft” as a war crime “traditionally recognized by the customary law of armed conflict”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.29.
United States of America
The US Soldier’s Manual (1984) instructs members of armed forces not to fire on persons and objects displaying the red cross or red crescent emblem. 
United States, Your Conduct in Combat under the Law of War, Publication No. FM 27-2, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, November 1984, p. 7.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements states:
The term “protected property” means any property specifically protected by the law of war (including … hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected) … [and] includes objects properly identified by one of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions”. 
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, § 1(a)(3), p. IV-1.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993), under the heading “Combat rules”, states:
Combatants:
Respect these signs [i.e. the red cross, red crescent and red crystal]!
which protect:
- wounded and sick
- medical staff and Red Cross/Red Crescent/Red Crystal personnel
- ambulances and Red Cross/Red Crescent/Red Crystal transports
- hospital, first-aid posts and Red Cross/Red Crescent/Red Crystal premises. 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 2.
The Code of Conduct further states: “Special protection is to be given to Red Cross/Red Crescent/Red Crystal personnel, buildings and equipment.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 14.
Under the heading “Distinctive signs”, the Code of Conduct shows an image of a building with a red cross on a white ground and states: “Leave these buildings [and] establishments … untouched”. 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 13.
Under the same heading, in a section on “[R]eligious personnel (military and civilian)”, the manual lists the red cross, red crescent and red crystal on a white ground and states: “Respect those bearing and objects marked with such signs.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 12.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
268.66 War crimeattacking persons or objects using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator attacks one or more persons; and
(b) the person or persons are using, in conformity with the Geneva Conventions or the Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, any of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions; and
(c) the perpetrator intends the persons so using such an emblem to be the object of the attack; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for life.
(3) Strict liability applies to paragraphs (1)(b). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.66, pp. 344–345.
The Criminal Code Act also states, with respect to crimes that are serious violations of the laws and customs of war applicable in a non-international armed conflict:
268.78 War crimeattacking persons or objects using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator attacks one or more persons; and
(b) the person or persons are using, in conformity with the Geneva Conventions or the Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, any of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions; and
(c) the perpetrator intends the persons so using such an emblem to be the object of the attack; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an armed conflict that is not an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for life.
(3) Strict liability applies to paragraphs (1)(b). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.78, pp. 354–355.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “attacking persons or objects using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions” in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, §§ 268.66 and 268.78.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “directing attacks … against personnel, buildings, installations and transports, using the distinctive emblems of the red cross and red crescent” constitutes a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 116(3).
Belarus
Belarus’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that it is a war crime to “attack personnel, buildings, objects, units and means of transport displaying the protective emblem of the Red Cross or Red Crescent”. 
Belarus, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 136.
Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
15. intentionally directing attacks against … personnel using the distinctive emblems of international humanitarian law, in conformity with international law. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(15).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] …, as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
8 ter intentionally directing attacks against … personnel using the distinctive emblems of international humanitarian law, in conformity with international law. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(8 ter).
Burundi
Burundi’s Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) states:
[The following are] considered as war crimes:
B. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
w) launching deliberate attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;
D. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
b) launching deliberate attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law. 
Burundi, Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Article 4(B)(w) and (D)(b).
Burundi
Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
“War crimes” means crimes which are committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes, in particular:
2. … [S]erious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
25°. Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the [1949] Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law …
5. … [S]erious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
2°. Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the [1949] Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 2009, Article 198(2)(25°) and (5)(2°).
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).
China
China’s Law on the Red Cross Society (1993) states:
Article 16 The sign of the Red Cross plays both a protective role and an indicative role.
The protective role of the sign of the Red Cross is to show the personnel and equipment that must be respected and protected in armed conflicts. The sign shall be used in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.
The indicative role of the sign of the Red Cross is to show the personnel or goods that are involved in activities of the Red Cross. The way the sign is to be used shall be defined by the State Council.
Article 18 In case the armed forces use the sign of the Red Cross, the relevant provisions of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols shall apply.
Article 19 Abuse of the sign of the Red Cross is prohibited.
In case the sign of the Red Cross is abused, the Red Cross Society shall have the right to demand such acts cease; in case of refusal to cease such acts, the Red Cross Society may appeal to the people’s government to deal with the matter according to the provisions of relevant laws and regulations. 
China, Law on the Red Cross Society, 1993, Articles 16 and 18–19.
Colombia
Under Colombia’s Penal Code (2000), it is a punishable act to attack or destroy, without imperative military necessity:
ambulances or means of medical transport, field hospitals or fixed hospitals, depots of aid material, medical convoys, goods destined for relief and aid of protected persons, … medical goods and installations properly marked with the distinctive emblems of the Red Cross or Red Crescent. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Article 155.
Congo
Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes set out 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 in time of war abuses or fails to respect any badge or designation that is restricted to personnel, institutions and materiel designed to give assistance to wounded or sick persons shall be punishable by fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment. 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:
1. Any person who during armed conflict deliberately abuses or fails to respect any badge or designation that is restricted to personnel, institutions and materiel designed to give assistance to wounded or sick persons shall be punishable with imprisonment up to life imprisonment.
2. 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.
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “a person who kills, tortures, causes health damage to or takes hostage a member of a medical unit properly identified, or any other person attending to the sick or wounded persons … [as well as] a representative of a humanitarian organization performing his/her duties in a war zone” commits a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 102.
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states: “Combatants are to respect the distinctive emblems prescribed by international law as well as their beneficiaries.” 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-9.
France
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes common to both international and non-international armed conflicts:
Intentionally launching attacks against medical personnel, buildings, material, units and transports displaying, in accordance with international law, the distinctive emblems provided for in the [1949 Geneva Conventions] or their [1977] Additional Protocols is punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment. 
France, Penal Code, 1992, as amended in 2010, Article 461-12, para. 1.
Finland
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, provides that any person who “attacks persons who are using the symbols referred to in the Geneva Conventions or Additional Protocol I or III to the Geneva Conventions” shall be “sentenced for a war crime to imprisonment for at least one year or for life”. 
Finland, Criminal Code, 1889, as amended in 2008, Chapter 11, Section 5(1)(10).
(emphasis in original)
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) provides:
Anyone who, in connection with an international or non-international armed conflict, … carries out an attack against personnel, buildings, material or medical units and transport designated with the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions … in conformity with international humanitarian law, shall be liable to imprisonment for not less than three years. In less serious cases, particularly where the attack is not carried out with military means, the period of imprisonment shall be for not less than one year. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 11(1)(2).
Iraq
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies the following as a serious violation of the laws and customs of war applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts:
Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material and medical units, means of transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 13(2)(X) and (4)(B).
Mexico
Mexico’s Emblem Law (2006) states:
The emblem and designation “Red Cross” in its protective use are granted to the persons, objects, units, transports and medical material when undertaking any of its functions in the context of an armed conflict. [The Red Cross] represents the inviolability of the medical mission and reminds combatants that the medical mission is protected, shall be respected and cannot be attacked. 
Mexico, Emblem Law, 2006, Article 7.
The Law also states:
The term “Red Cross” used in this law to make reference to the emblem or to the designation shall be understood as referring analogously to the emblem of the red crescent and to the designation “Red Crescent”, as well as to other emblems and designations provided for in international legal instruments to which Mexico is a party and which have the same use, function and purpose as provided for and regulated by international humanitarian law. 
Mexico, Emblem Law, 2006, Article 1.
Netherlands
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transports, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law” is a crime, whether committed in an international or a non-international armed conflict. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Articles 5(5)(n) and 6(3)(b).
New Zealand
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crimes defined in Article 8(2)(b)(xxiv) and (e)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(2).
Nicaragua
Under Nicaragua’s Military Penal Code (1996), failure to respect the red cross emblem is considered an offence against the laws and customs of war. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Code, 1996, Articles 48–49.
Norway
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states:
Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … directs an attack against personnel, buildings, material, medical units or transport which are entitled under international law to use one of the specially protected distinctive emblems of the [1949] Geneva Conventions and [1977] Additional Protocols or any other means of identification indicating that they are protected under the Geneva Conventions. 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 105(b).
Peru
Under Peru’s Code of Military Justice (1980), it is an offence to knowingly open fire upon personnel of the Red Cross displaying the distinctive emblem in a situation of combat, on the battlefield or during military operations. 
Peru, Code of Military Justice, 1980, Article 96.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against personnel, buildings, material, medical units, transport of medical units, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law” in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 12(1)(2).
Romania
Romania’s Penal Code (1968) provides for the punishment of anyone who “subjects to inhuman treatment … members of … the Red Cross or any other organization assimilated with it … or subjects such persons to medical or scientific experiments”. 
Romania, Penal Code, 1968, Article 358.
It further provides for the punishment of:
The total or partial destruction of objects marked with the regular distinctive emblem, such as:
a) buildings …
b) means of transport of any kind assigned to … the Red Cross or the organizations assimilated therewith which serve to transport … material of the Red Cross or of organizations assimilated therewith. 
Romania, Penal Code, 1968, Article 359.
Senegal
Senegal’s Penal Code (1965), as amended in 2007, states that the following constitute war crimes:
b) [O]ther serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
21. launching deliberate attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;
d) …
Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
2. launching deliberate attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law. 
Senegal, Penal Code, 1965, as amended in 2007, Article 431-3(b)(21) and (d)(2).
South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including in both international and non-international armed conflicts: “intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law”. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, §§ (b)(xxiv) and (e)(ii).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) provides for the punishment of “anyone who, in the event of armed conflict, should … knowingly violate the protection due to medical units and medical transports … which are duly identified with signs or the appropriate distinctive signals”. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 612(1).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2003, states:
Anyone who [commits any of the following acts] during armed conflict shall be punished with three to seven years’ imprisonment:
2. Exercising violence … against personnel authorized to bear the distinctive signs of the Geneva Conventions in accordance with international law. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, as amended on 25 November 2003, Article 612(2).
Sweden
Sweden’s Penal Code (1962), as amended in 1998, provides:
A person guilty of a serious violation of a treaty or agreement with a foreign power or an infraction of a generally recognised principle or tenet relating to international humanitarian law concerning armed conflicts shall be sentenced for crime against international law to imprisonment for at most four years. Serious violations shall be understood to include:
(5) initiating an attack against establishments or installations which enjoy special protection under international law. 
Sweden, Penal Code, 1962, as amended in 1998, Chapter 22, § 6.
Switzerland
Under Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, the commission of hostile acts against persons or objects placed under the protection of the distinctive emblems, or impeding the carrying out of their functions is punishable by imprisonment. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended, Article 111.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended in 2007, states:
Any person who has undertaken hostile acts against persons under the protection of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun [or] the emblem of the third Additional Protocol [2005 Additional Protocol III] to the [1949] Geneva Conventions …, or has prevented them from exercising their functions,
any person who has destroyed or damaged material placed under the protection of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, the Red Lion and Sun or the emblem of the third Additional Protocol [2005 Additional Protocol III] to the [1949] Geneva Conventions,
is to be punished with three years’ imprisonment or more or with a monetary penalty or, in less serious cases, with a year imprisonment or less. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended in 2007, Article 111.
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. 112
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 directs an attack against:
d. medical units [and] buildings, material or vehicles marked with a distinctive sign provided for by international humanitarian law or whose protected character is recognizable even without a distinctive sign, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 112(1)(d). The word “and” in square brackets has been inserted to reflect the placement of “medical” in the official language versions of Article 112(1)(d).
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. 264d
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 directs an attack against:
d. medical units [and] buildings, material or vehicles marked with a distinctive sign provided for by international humanitarian law or whose protected character is recognizable even without a distinctive sign, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264d (1)(d). The word “and” in square brackets has been inserted to reflect the placement of “medical” in the official language versions of Article 112(1)(d).
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)(xxiv) and (e)(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 (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
“(a) DEFINITIONS AND CONSTRUCTION.—In this section:
“ …
“(3) PROTECTED PROPERTY.—The term ‘protected property’ means property specifically protected by the law of war (such as buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, or places where the sick and wounded are collected), if such property is not being used for military purposes or is not otherwise a military objective. Such term includes objects properly identified by one of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions, but does not include civilian property that is a military objective. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2625, § 950v(a)(3).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950p. Definitions; construction of certain offenses; common circumstances
“(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this subchapter:
“ …
“(3) The term ‘protected property’ means any property specifically protected by the law of war, including … hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected … [and] includes objects properly identified by one of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950p(a)(3).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
32. Intentionally directing attacks against … personnel using the distinctive emblems of the [1949] Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols in conformity with international law. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2 and 26.3.32.
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998), as amended, provides for the punishment of “those who carry out serious attacks against members of the Red Cross”. 
Venezuela, Code of Military Justice, 1998, as amended, Article 474(3).
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Penal Code (2005) states:
The following shall be punished with military arrest or political prison for one to four years:
1. Venezuelan or foreign nationals who, during a war between Venezuela and another nation, violate the … principles observed by civilized peoples during war such as respect for … the Red Cross and other similar cases, without prejudice to military laws which shall be specially applicable to these matters. 
Venezuela, Penal Code, 2005, Article 155(1).
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.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In 1992, in the context of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency of the Republika Srpska issued a statement calling on “local authorities and the most influential of Serbian people” to respect the red cross emblem “which ought to be used by medical personnel, hospitals and medical transports only”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Appeal by the Presidency, 15 June 1992.
On another occasion, the Presidency ordered all combatants to “take all measures to respect the Red Cross emblem”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Order issued by the Presidency, 22 August 1992.
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 “Weapons and tactics”, stated: “It is prohibited to attack medical or religious personnel and objects lawfully displaying the emblem of [the] red cross/red crescent/red crystal.ˮ 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
France
Under 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, the red cross emblem must be respected in all circumstances. 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1995, Section 6, § 62.
Kuwait
A note issued by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defence in 1994 recognized the principle whereby persons and objects displaying the distinctive emblem must be respected.  
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 2.5, referring to Note by the Ministry of Defence concerning the emblems, 15 October 1994.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
In 1991, in a document entitled “Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia”, the Ministry of Defence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia included the following example: “Fire has been opened on medical vehicles and helicopters and planes, in spite of their Red Cross signs, medical teams were arrested.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Minister of Defence, Examples of violations of the rules of IHL committed by the so-called Armed Forces of Slovenia, 10 July 1991, § 2(iii).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
In an order to Yugoslav army units in 1991, the Federal Executive Council of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requested that “all the participants in the armed conflicts in the territory of Yugoslavia … respect and protect the Red Cross sign so as to ensure the safety of all those performing their humanitarian duties under this sign”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Federal Executive Council, Secretariat for Information, Statement regarding the need for respect of the norms of international humanitarian law in the armed conflicts in Yugoslavia, Belgrade, 31 October 1991.
No data.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (Rapporteur on Refugees from El Salvador)
In 1981, in a report on refugees from El Salvador, the Rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly noted that it had become necessary to launch a large-scale information campaign about the tasks of the Red Cross, because the red cross emblem was frequently being ignored and Red Cross convoys were being fired upon. She proposed that a special appeal should be made to the Government of El Salvador and to right- and left-wing extremist groups to, inter alia, respect the red cross emblem. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Rapporteur on Refugees from El Salvador, Report, Doc. 4698, Report on refugees from El Salvador, 30 January 1981, pp. 9 and 12; Official Report of Debates, 33rd Session, Vol. 1, 1–7 sittings, 11–15 May 1991, p. 203.
OAU Council of Ministers
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on respect for international humanitarian law and support for humanitarian action in armed conflicts, the Council of Ministers of the OAU urged all member States and warring parties “to respect the Red Cross, Red Crescent and other humanitarian organization emblems”. 
OAU, Council of Ministers, Res. 1526 (LX), 11 June 1994, § 4.
Organization of American States
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on respect for international humanitarian law, the OAS urged all member States “to do their utmost to guarantee the security of personnel engaged in humanitarian activities, … in particular by respecting the Red Cross emblem”. 
Organization of American States, General Assembly, Res. 1270 (XXIV-O/94), 10 June 1994, § 3.
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
In 1994, respect for the red cross and red crescent emblems was included as part of confidence-building measures proposed by the OSCE in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. 
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Confidence-building measures for possible application in the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh (revised), annexed to Letter dated 9 June 1994 from Sweden to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/1994/687, 9 June 1994, § 2.
CSCE Helsinki Summit (1992)
At the 1992 Helsinki Summit of Heads of State or Government, CSCE participating States reaffirmed their commitment to respect the protective emblems of the red cross and red crescent. 
CSCE, Helsinki Summit of Heads of State or Government, 9–10 July 1992, Helsinki Document 1992: The Challenges of Change, Decisions, Chapter VI: The Human Dimension, § 51.
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims
The Final Declaration adopted by the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims in 1993 urged all States to “make every effort to … increase respect for the emblems of the red cross and red crescent”. 
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva, 30 August–1 September 1993, Final Declaration, § II (9), ILM, Vol. 33, 1994, p. 301.
Inter-Parliamentary Conference (1993)
In a resolution adopted in 1993, the 90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference called on “all States to make every effort to protect agents from belligerents as well as common criminals and ensure the immunity which should be guaranteed by the emblems of the Red Cross and Red Crescent”. 
90th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Canberra, 13–18 September 1993, Resolution on respect for international humanitarian law and support for humanitarian action in armed conflicts, § 2(h).
Conference of African Ministers of Health (1995)
In a resolution on health and war adopted in 1995, the Conference of African Ministers of Health invited the OAU Member States “to guarantee the immunity of the emblems of the Red Cross and Red Crescent”. 
Conference of African Ministers of Health, Cairo, 26–28 April 1995, Res. 14 (V), § 5(c).
No data.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1978 concerning fighting in East Beirut, the ICRC expressed its indignation “at the non-respect of the Red Cross emblem which should be observed for the protection of the medical personnel, units and vehicles which, from the outset, have been repeatedly under attack”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1333b, Fighting in East Beirut – ICRC Appeal, 7 July 1978.
ICRC
In 1979, the ICRC appealed to all parties to the conflict in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe to “respect the protective emblem of the Red Cross and thus allow those who carry it in the accomplishment of their humanitarian task to work in safety”. 
ICRC, Conflict in Southern Africa: ICRC appeal, 19 March 1979, § 5, IRRC, No. 209, 1979, p. 88.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1987 after two ambulances clearly marked with the red cross and red crescent emblems suffered direct hits from helicopter gun fire in southern Lebanon, the ICRC appealed to the parties concerned to respect everywhere and at all times the emblems of the red cross and red crescent “which protect those who provide assistance to all victims of the Lebanese conflict”. 
ICRC, Press Release, ICRC Beirut, 23 December 1987.
ICRC
In a Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law sent in 1990 to all States party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions in the context of the Gulf War, the ICRC stated:
The Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems must be respected in all circumstances. Medical and religious personnel, ambulances, hospitals and other medical units and means of transport shall in particular be identified by one of the emblems and respected accordingly. 
ICRC, Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law, 14 December 1990, § III, IRRC, No. 280, 1991, p. 25.
ICRC
In 1991, the ICRC appealed to the parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia “to respect and ensure respect for the Red Cross emblem so as to guarantee the safety of those engaged in humanitarian activities under its protection”. 
ICRC, Appeal in behalf of civilians in Yugoslavia, Geneva, 4 October 1991.
National Societies (Hungary & Yugoslavia)
In a joint statement adopted in 1991, the Yugoslav Red Cross and the Hungarian Red Cross expressed their deep concern about “the protracting internal conflict in Yugoslavia” and urged the parties to the conflict “to do their utmost to ensure respect for the Red Cross sign”. 
Yugoslav Red Cross and Hungarian Red Cross, Joint Statement, Subotica, 25 October 1991.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC enjoined the parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina “to respect and ensure respect for the Red Cross emblem so as to guarantee the safety of medical personnel and Red Cross workers carrying out their humanitarian mandate”.  
ICRC, Press Release No. 1705, Bosnia-Herzegovina: ICRC calls for protection of civilians, 10 April 1992.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC enjoined the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan “to respect and ensure respect for the Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem so as to guarantee the safety of all those engaged in humanitarian activities under its protection”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1712, Afghanistan: ICRC appeals for compliance with humanitarian rules, 5 May 1992; see also Press Release No. 1726, Afghanistan: New ICRC appeal for compliance with humanitarian rules, 14 August 1992.
ICRC
In 1992, the ICRC appealed to all parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina to “instruct all combatants in the field to respect … the Red Cross emblem”. 
ICRC, Bosnia-Herzegovina: Solemn appeal to all parties to the conflict, IRRC, No. 290, 1992, p. 493.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC urged the parties to the conflict in Tajikistan “to respect and ensure respect for the Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem, so as to guarantee the safety of medical staff and workers carrying out their humanitarian tasks under its protection”. 
ICRC, Press Release, Tajikistan: ICRC urges respect for humanitarian rules, ICRC Dushanbe, 23 November 1992.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC enjoined the parties to the conflict in Chechnya “to respect both the Red Cross and the Red Crescent emblems, so as to guarantee the safety of medical personnel and relief workers carrying out humanitarian tasks under their protection”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1793, Chechnya: ICRC urges respect for humanitarian rules, 28 November 1994.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 1993 following the destruction of its delegation in Huambo (Angola), the ICRC appealed to the parties to comply with the rules of IHL concerning the red cross emblem. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/24, Conflict in Angola: ICRC Appeals for respect for civilians – Its Huambo delegation destroyed, 4 August 1993.
National Society (Brazil)
In 1993, the Brazilian Red Cross condemned the destruction of the ICRC delegation in Huambo (Angola). 
Brazilian Red Cross, Communication to the Press, 17 August 1993.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 1993, the ICRC enjoined the parties to the conflict in Somalia “to respect the Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem and not to abuse it, so as to guarantee the safety of the victims it is meant to protect and of all those who engage in humanitarian activities under this emblem”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/17, Somalia: ICRC appeals for compliance with international humanitarian law, 17 June 1993.
National Society (Mexico)
In a declaration issued in 1994 in the context of the conflict between the Mexican Government and the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN), the Mexican Red Cross stated: “Protection must be extended to health personnel in general and, in particular, to Mexican Red Cross personnel as well as their equipment, installations and transport facilities which are duly identified with the red cross on a white background.” 
Mexican Red Cross, Declaración de Cruz Roja Mexicana en torno a los acontecimientos que se han presentado en el Chiapas a partir del 1o. de enero de 1994, 3 January 1994, § 2(C).
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated:
Medical and religious personnel, hospitals, ambulances and other medical units and means of transport shall be protected and respected; the red cross emblem, which is the symbol of that protection, must be respected in all circumstances. 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § III, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 504.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise in the Great Lakes region, the ICRC stated:
Medical and religious staff, ambulances, hospitals and other medical units and means of medical transport must be protected and respected; the emblem of the red cross, which is the symbol of that protection, must be respected in all circumstances. 
ICRC, Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise, 23 June 1994, § I, reprinted in Marco Sassòli and Antoine A. Bouvier, How Does Law Protect in War?, ICRC, Geneva, 1999, p. 1309.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1995, the ICRC appealed to all the parties involved in Turkey’s military operations in northern Iraq “to respect the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1797, ICRC calls for compliance with international humanitarian law in Turkey and Northern Iraq, 22 March 1995.
ICRC
In a working paper on war crimes submitted in 1997 to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, the ICRC listed attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transports, and personnel entitled to use, in conformity with international law, the distinctive emblems of the red cross and red crescent, as serious violations of IHL applicable in international and non-international armed conflicts to be subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC. 
ICRC, Working paper on war crimes submitted to the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, 14 February 1997, § 2(I).
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2000 following two separate incidents in Colombia in which wounded combatants being evacuated by the ICRC were seized and summarily executed by men belonging to opposition forces, the ICRC stated that these acts constituted serious violations of IHL and called on all the warring parties to respect the red cross emblem. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/36, Colombia: ICRC condemns grave breaches of international humanitarian law, suspends medical evacuations of wounded combatants, 3 October 2000.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2001 following the killing of six ICRC staff members by unidentified assailants in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ICRC condemned “in the strongest terms this attack and the flouting of the red cross emblem”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 01/14, Six ICRC staff killed in Democratic Republic of the Congo, 27 April 2001.
ICRC
In 2001, following the bombing of an ICRC compound by US aircraft in Kabul, the ICRC recalled that “international humanitarian law obliges the parties to conflict to respect the red cross and red crescent emblems”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 01/43, ICRC warehouses bombed in Kabul, 16 October 2001.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2001 in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan, the ICRC reminded all the parties involved – the Taliban, the Northern Alliance, and the US-led coalition – of their obligation to respect the red cross and red crescent emblems. 
ICRC Communication to the Press No. 01/47, Afghanistan: ICRC calls on all parties to conflict to respect international humanitarian law, 24 October 2001.
No data.