Practice Relating to Rule 47. Attacks against Persons Hors de Combat

Note: For practice concerning the use of the white flag of truce, see Rule 58 and Rule 66, Section B.
Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 23(c) of the 1899 Hague Regulations provides that it is especially prohibited “to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 23(c).
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 23(c) of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides that it is especially forbidden “to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 23(c).
Additional Protocol I
Article 41 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
1. A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.
2. A person is hors de combat if:
a) he is in the power of an adverse Party;
b) he clearly expresses an intention to surrender;
c) he has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore is incapable of defending himself;
provided that in any of these cases he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 41. Article 41 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.39, 25 May 1977, p. 104.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 7(1) of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH provided:
It is forbidden to kill, injure, ill-treat or torture an adversary hors de combat. An adversary hors de combat is one who, having laid down his arms, no longer has any means of defence or has surrendered. These conditions are considered to have been fulfilled, in particular, in the case of an adversary who:
a) is unable to express himself, or
b) has surrendered or has clearly expressed an intention to surrender
c) and abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 35.
This proposal was amended and adopted by consensus in Committee III of the CDDH. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/SR.49, 4 June 1976, p. 108, § 7.
The text adopted provided:
1. A person who is recognized or should, under the circumstances, be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.
2. A person is hors de combat if:
a) he is in the power of an adverse party; or
b) he clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
c) he has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and he is therefore incapable of defending himself;
and in any case, provided that he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/236/Rev.1, 21 April-11 June 1976, p. 420.
Eventually, however, this draft article was rejected in the plenary by 22 votes in favour, 15 against and 42 abstentions. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 129.
ICC Statute
Under Article 8(2)(b)(vi) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[k]illing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” is a war crime in 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)(vi).
Lieber Code
Article 71 of the 1863 Lieber Code provides:
Whoever intentionally inflicts additional wounds on an enemy already wholly disabled, or kills such an enemy … shall suffer death, if duly convicted, whether he belongs to the Army of the United States, or is an enemy captured after having committed his misdeed. 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 71.
Brussels Declaration
Article 13(c) of the 1874 Brussels Declaration states that “[m]urder of an enemy who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defense, has surrendered at discretion” is “especially ‘forbidden’”. 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874. Article 13(c).
Oxford Manual
Article 9(b) of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “It is forbidden … [t]o injure or kill an enemy who has surrendered at discretion or is disabled.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 9(b).
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 17(1) of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War states that it is forbidden “[t]o kill or to wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 17(1).
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(b)(vi), “killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(b)(vi).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an enemy who has laid down his arms or who is defenceless and has surrendered.” 
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, § 1.006.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) prohibits:
making an enemy hors de combat the object of an attack, understood as any person who:
1) is in the power of his enemy.
2) clearly expresses his intention to surrender.
3) is incapable of defending himself.
provided that in any of these cases he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
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, § 1.06(5).
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states:
Military members who abandon a sinking ship should not be attacked unless they show hostile intent or are armed and so close to shore as to be capable of completing their military mission. If their conduct suggests a desire to surrender, this must be accepted.
Protected from the moment of their surrender or capture, PW [prisoners of war] and PW camps must not be made the object of attack …
An enemy who indicates a desire to surrender should not be attacked …
Combatants become protected when incapacitated, sick, wounded or shipwrecked to the extent that they are incapable of fighting. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, §§ 413, 414, 416 and 621.
The manual also states:
A person who is recognised or who, in the circumstances, should be recognised to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack. A person is hors de combat if he:
a. is in the power of an enemy;
b. clearly expresses an intention to surrender;
c. or has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated,
provided that in any of these cases he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 906.
The manual further provides:
The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … making PW [prisoners of war] or the sick and wounded the object of attack; … denying an enemy the right to surrender. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1305(i) and (o).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Combatants who are unable to continue hostile action and refrain from attempting to do so must be treated in the same fashion as noncombatants. Prisoners of war, military personnel who are surrendering or attempting to surrender, and those who are wounded or sick must not be attacked. The basic principle is that any person who is hors de combat, whether by choice or circumstance, is entitled to be treated as a noncombatant provided they refrain from any further participation in hostilities.
… A person is hors de combat if that person:
a. is under the control of an enemy;
b. clearly expresses an intention to surrender, or has been rendered unconscious, or is otherwise incapacitated; and
c. abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Australia, Defence Force Manual, 1994, §§ 518 and 707; see also §§ 519 and 836 (prohibition to kill or wound an enemy who surrenders in air warfare) and § 839 (prohibition to fire upon shipwrecked personnel in air warfare).
The manual also states:
The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … making PW [prisoners of war] or the sick and wounded the object of attack; … denying an enemy the right to surrender. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(i) and (o).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
PW [prisoners of war], military personnel who are surrendering or attempting to surrender, and those who are wounded or sick must not be attacked. The basic principle is that any combatant who is hors de combat, whether by choice or circumstance, is entitled to be treated as a PW provided they refrain from any further participation in hostilities. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.19; see also §§ 5.20 and 10.1.
In its chapter on “Land Operations”, the manual states:
7.8 Those who do not participate in hostilities must not be the direct object of an attack. Soldiers who are “out of combat.” and civilians are to be treated in the same manner and cannot be made the object of attack. A person is hors de combat if that person:
• is under the control of an enemy;
• clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
• has been rendered unconscious, or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore incapable of defending himself.
Provided that person abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.
7.9 Other persons who are not taking a direct part in hostilities are also considered to be out of combat. Those persons include medical personnel, chaplains and any person parachuting from an aircraft in distress. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 7.8–7.9.
In its chapter on “Air Operations”, the manual states:
8.40 … Surrenders in air combat are rarely offered. Nevertheless, actions or signals that suggest surrender should be respected. The surrendered aircraft should then be escorted to a suitable landing place.
8.41 Although relatively rare, surrenders by defecting enemy aircrew of military aircraft do offer valuable intelligence and psychological opportunities, and should be encouraged.
8.42 … If an aircraft in distress is clearly hors de combat from the information known to the attacking force at the time, then its destruction offers no military advantage, and the attack should be broken off to permit possible evacuation by crew or passengers. If the aircraft is a support or civil aircraft it is particularly important that this rule be observed.
8.43 Aircraft may not open fire on any personnel who have indicated an intention to surrender. This applies to ships as well as land forces. Additionally, aircraft may not fire upon shipwrecked personnel, including those who may have parachuted into the sea or otherwise come from downed aircraft, so long as the personnel have not been picked up. These rules do not alter the fact that any attempt by the enemy to recover downed crew may be opposed.
8.53 If the crew of a disabled aircraft … [are] in a raft or similar craft at sea after parachuting, they are to be treated as if shipwrecked and may not be attacked. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 8.40–8.43. and 8.53.
In its chapter on “Compliance”, the manual states:
13.26 G. P. I [1977 Additional Protocol I] extends the definition of grave breaches to include the following:
• making a person the object of attack in the knowledge that they are hors de combat.
13.29 Provisions of the Hague Regulations 1907 are now recognised as part of customary law. Those regulations provide that the following acts are “especially forbidden”:
• to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down their arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 13.26 and 13.29.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Field Regulations (1964) states: “It is forbidden to mistreat … an enemy, who having laid down his arms, has surrendered at discretion.” 
Belgium, Règlement sur le Service en Campagne, Règlement IF 47, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, Etat-Major Général, Force Terrestre, Direction Supérieure de la Tactique, Direction Générale du Planning, Entraînement et Organisation, 1964, § 23.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered ‘at discretion’, i.e. unconditionally.” 
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. 33.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers (1994) stipulates: “Any adversary hors de combat may no longer be made the object of attack. This is the case of combatants who surrender, who are wounded or sick [or] shipwrecked.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Manuel d’Instruction pour Officiers, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 1994, Part I, Title II, p. 34.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers states that surrendering soldiers may not be fired at. It explains: “The intention to surrender may be expressed in different ways: laid down arms, raised hand, white flag.” The manual also provides:
The shipwrecked do not constitute any longer a military threat. [Wounded and shipwrecked] combatants obviously lose their protection and may be attacked if they themselves open fire … For the same reasons of humanity, the wounded and sick must be spared. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, pp. 15 and 16.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary who surrenders.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 4; see also Fascicule I, p. 16 and Fascicule II, p. 18.
The manual also provides: “Any person recognized, or who should be recognized, as not being able to participate any longer in combat shall not be attacked (for example: in case of surrender, wounds, … shipwreck …).” It specifies that an intention to surrender must be clearly expressed and gives a few examples, such as raising hands, laying down arms and waving a white flag. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 9.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Instructions to the Muslim Fighter (1993) issued by the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 state that it is “left to the military command’s discretion to decide whether it is more useful or in the general interest to free, exchange or liquidate enemy prisoners of war”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Instructions to the Muslim Fighter, booklet, ABiH 3rd Corps, 1993, § c, cited in ICTY, Hadžihasanović and Others Case, Amended Indictment, 11 January 2002, § 24.
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s Disciplinary Regulations (1994) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”. 
Burkina Faso, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 94-159/IPRES/DEF, Ministère de la Défense, 1994, Article 35(2).
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The wounded, sick and shipwrecked may not be attacked, except if they directly participate in hostilities.” 
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. 57; see also Part I bis, pp. 68 and 83.
The Regulations also states: “Do not attack an adversary … who surrenders.” 
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. 26; see also Part I bis, pp. 55 and 83.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 32.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states: “All combatants who are unable to fight must be spared.” 
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. 30, § 132.
It further notes:
An enemy hors de combat may:
– raise his arm as an indication of surrender
– lay down his weapon
– display the white flag of parlementaires. 
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. 32, § 132.22.
In addition, the manual specifies: “Captured enemy combatants are prisoners of war and shall not be attacked.” 
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. 96, § II.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
An enemy hors de combat can be defined as a combatant who … is unable to pursue combat by virtue of his capture, rendition, wounding or sickness. … [S]uch a person is not to be killed …, provided that he does not manifest any hostile intentions. 
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. 183, § 493.A.
The manual, under the heading “Rules for Conduct in Combat”, also states: “Enemy combatants who surrender: spare them.” 
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. 31; see also pp. 51, 77, p. 103, § 372, p. 107, p. 147, §§ 431–432 and p. 149, § 432.
The manual further states: “It is prohibited … to fire on, wound or kill an enemy combatant who surrenders or is captured”. 
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. 256, § 612.
The manual provides that an enemy hors de combat may signal his intention to surrender as follows:
- raise his arms as an indication of surrender;
- lay down his weapon;
- display a white flag. 
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, pp. 104–105, § 342; see also p. 149, § 432.
The manual also provides under the heading “The Rights of the Prisoner of War”: “He may not be attacked.” 
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; see also p. 81, § 331 and p. 323.
The manual further states under the heading “The Wounded, Sick [and] Shipwrecked”: “In case of capture, they benefit from the treatment accorded to prisoners of war.” 
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. 117, § 392; see also p. 122, § 405 and p. 164, § 463.
The manual further states that in naval operations, “bombardment must cease if there is a manifest intention of the adversary to surrender”. 
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. 258, § 613.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 30: Definition
… In addition [to its use as the flag of parlementaires], the white flag is the symbol of the surrender of troops and engages the adversary to respect immediately the ceasefire rules; from that moment, the persons who surrender must receive the application of the provisions relative to prisoners of war.
Article 32: Prohibitions
It is prohibited to soldiers in combat:
- to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured or with whom a suspension of combat has been concluded;
- to commit violence to life or person of the wounded, sick or shipwrecked, of prisoners, as well as of civilians, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment or torture;
- to refuse an unconditional surrender or to declare that no quarter will be given. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Articles 30 and 32.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides:
It is prohibited to attack a combatant who is, or should be recognized as being, hors de combat (out of combat).
A combatant is hors de combat if that person:
a. is in the power of an adverse Party (i.e., a prisoner);
b. clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
c. has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore is incapable of self defence;
provided that in any of these cases this person abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 6-2, §§ 16 and 17 (land warfare); see also pp. 3-2 and 3-3, §§ 17 and 18, p. 4-5, §§ 42 and 43 and p. 7-3, §§ 21 and 22 (air warfare).
The manual also states that “killing or wounding an enemy who, having laid down his arms or no longer having a means of defence, has surrendered” constitutes a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 16-3, § 20(c).
Likewise, “firing upon shipwrecked personnel” is a war crime “recognized by the LOAC”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, pp. 16-3 and 16-4, § 21(f).
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) instructs: “Do not attack those who surrender.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 5.
The Code of Conduct adds: “It is unlawful to refuse to accept someone’s surrender … Anyone who wishes to surrender must clearly show an intention to do so (e.g., hands up, throwing away his weapon, or showing a white flag).” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 5, §§ 2 and 3.
The Code of Conduct further provides:
Members of opposing forces who have been rendered unconscious or are otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore are incapable of defending themselves, shall not be made the object of attack provided that they abstain from any hostile act. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 7, § 2.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Combatant Status”:
A combatant is hors de combat (out of combat) if that person:
a. is in the power of an adverse party;
b. clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
c. has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and is therefore incapable of self defence,
provided that in any of these cases the individual abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 309.1.
In its chapter on targeting, the manual further states:
433. Enemy “hors de combat”
2. A combatant is hors de combat if that person:
a. is in the power of an adverse party (PW);
b. clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
c. has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and is therefore incapable of defending himself;
provided that in any of these cases the combatant abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.
434. Personnel bearing the white flag
1. Personnel bearing a white flag are indicating a desire to negotiate or surrender. They should not be attacked but should be dealt with cautiously …
435. Wounded, sick and shipwrecked
1. All the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, to whichever party they belong, shall be respected and protected and shall not be attacked.
2. The “wounded” and “sick” mean persons, whether military or civilian who, because of trauma, disease or other physical or mental disorder or disability, are in need of medical assistance or care. The wounded and sick are protected so long as they refrain from any act of hostility.
3. “Shipwrecked” means persons, whether military or civilian, who are in peril at sea or in other waters as a result of misfortune affecting them or the vessel or aircraft carrying them. The shipwrecked are protected so long as they refrain from any act of hostility.
436. Prisoners of war
1. PWs [prisoners of war] must be protected and shall not be attacked so long as they refrain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 433.2, 434, 435.1–3 and 436.
In its chapter on land warfare, the manual also states:
2. It is prohibited to attack a combatant who is, or should be recognized as being, hors de combat (out of combat).
3. A combatant is hors de combat if that person:
a. is in the power of an adverse Party (that is, a prisoner);
b. clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
c. has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore is incapable of self defence;
provided that in any of these cases this person abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 608.2–3.
Similarly, in its chapter on air warfare, the manual states:
2. It is prohibited to attack a combatant who is, or should be recognized as being, hors de combat (out of combat).
3. A combatant is hors de combat when that person:
a. is in the power of an adverse party (that is, a prisoner);
b. clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
c. has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore is incapable of self-defence;
provided that in any of these cases such combatant abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 707.2–3.
In its chapter on “War crimes, individual criminal liability and command responsibility”, the manual states that “killing or wounding an enemy who, having laid down his arms or no longer having a means of defence, has surrendered” constitutes a war crime. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1609.2.d.
Likewise, “firing upon shipwrecked personnel” is a war crime “recognized by the LOAC”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1609.3.f.
Canada
Rule 5 of Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs: “Do not attack those who surrender.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 5.
The Code of Conduct further states:
Those who surrender and who are no longer a threat must be protected and treated humanely. The “denial of quarter” is prohibited. In other words, it is unlawful to refuse to accept someone’s surrender or to order that no PWs [prisoners of war] or detainees will be taken. It is also illegal as well as operationally unsound to make threats to opposing forces that no PWs or detainees will be taken. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 5, § 2.
With regard to intent to surrender, the Code of Conduct states: “Anyone who wishes to surrender must clearly show an intention to do so (e.g., hands up, throwing away his weapon, or showing a white flag).” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 5, § 3.
The Code of Conduct further states:
Members of opposing forces who have been rendered unconscious or are otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore are incapable of defending themselves shall not be made the object of attack provided that they abstain from any hostile act. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 7, § 2.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction): “The white flag (flag of parlementaires [is] used to signal a request for negotiation or surrender). Combatants carrying a white flag are also protected.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section II, § 2.
In Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders), the manual states: “It is forbidden to kill or wound an enemy who has surrendered”. 
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, § 2; see also Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section I.
Also in Volume 2, the manual states: “Any person who is or should be acknowledged as no longer fit to take part in combat must not be attacked (for example any person who has surrendered, is wounded, dead, shipwrecked at sea … ).” 
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, § 4.
Volume 2 further states: “An intention to surrender must be clearly expressed: by raising the arms, laying down arms, waving a white flag, etc.” 
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 II, Section III, § 3.1.
Volume 2 also states: “Captured combatants (whether they have surrendered or not) … may not be attacked. … [They] must be: … protected”. 
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 III, Section I–II, § 2.1.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Disciplinary Regulations (2009) states:
During combat, it is also prohibited for servicemen to:
- fire upon, wound or kill an enemy that surrenders or is captured or with whom a suspension of fire has been concluded;
- commit violence to life and person of the sick, wounded, shipwrecked, as well as of prisoners and civilians. 
Central African Republic, Décret 09.411 portant règlement de discipline générale dans les Armées, Ministre de la Défense Nationale, des Anciens Combattants, des Victimes de Guerre, du Désarmement et de la Restructuration de l’Armée, 10 December 2009, Article 12(11).
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) prohibits attacks against “the wounded and sick, the shipwrecked [and] prisoners of war”. 
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. 26: see also pp. 36, 87 and 88.
The manual also prohibits attacks against soldiers who surrender: “[S]oldiers who surrender may [demonstrate their intention to do so] in various ways: weapons laid down, arms raised, waving a white flag. From that moment they may no longer be shot at.” 
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. 87; see also pp. 36 and 47.
The manual also states that “a prisoner [of war] is an enemy combatant who is hors de combat by virtue of being taken captive. He is not the prisoner of an individual but of a State.” 
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. 37; see also p. 59.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on the Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary who surrenders.” 
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, § 2.
Congo
The Congo’s Disciplinary Regulations (1986) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”. 
Congo, Décret No. 86/057 du 14 janvier 1986 portant Règlement du Service dans l’Armée Populaire Nationale, 1986, Article 32(2).
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Preamble
Persons … rendered hors de combat because they are sick, wounded, shipwrecked, captured or for other reasons, must be respected and protected against the consequences of the war …
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. 
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. 5 and 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; 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. 65.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
Chapter 2. Combatants and objectives
I.2.9. Combatants hors de combat
A combatant hors de combat is a person:
- who is in the power of an adverse Party;
- who clearly expresses his intention to surrender;
- who has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore is incapable of defending himself, provided that in any of these cases he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Côte d’Ivoire, 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. 21.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) and Soldiers’ Manual (1992) instruct soldiers to spare captured enemy combatants. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 46; Rules of Conduct for Soldiers, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, p. 4.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) states:
A combatant who is recognized (or should be recognized) as being out of combat (surrendering, wounded, shipwrecked in water …) may not be attacked. The intent to surrender can be shown with a white flag. 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 72.
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Instructions on Basic Rules of IHL (1993), it is prohibited to kill or injure members of the enemy armed forces who have surrendered. 
Croatia, Instructions “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1993, § 1.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Disciplinary Regulations (1982) states: “It is prohibited for combatants to … fire on, wound or kill an enemy combatant who has surrendered, been captured or with whom a ceasefire has been concluded”. 
Djibouti, Décret no. 82-028/PR/DEF du 5 mai 1982 portant règlement de la discipline générale dans les Forces armées, Article 30(3).
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states with respect to “[c]ombatants who surrender”: “Spare them.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 7.
The manual also states:
[T]he Geneva Conventions are based on the respect for the human being and his or her dignity. They provide that “persons who do not participate directly in hostilities … [or] who are placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds [or] detention” must be respected and protected against the effects of war. 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 13.
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) forbids attacks against non-combatants, including soldiers who surrender or who are sick, wounded or captured. 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 3.
The manual further states:
The enemy soldier may reach the point where he would rather surrender than fight. He may signal to you with a white flag, by emerging from his position with arms raised or by yelling to cease fire. The manner he expresses his wish to surrender may vary, but you must give him the opportunity to surrender once he has manifested it. It is illegal to fire at an enemy who has laid down his arms as a sign of surrender. 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, pp. 6–7.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states:
Members of the armed forces incapable of participating in combat due to injury or illness may not be the object of attack.
Shipwrecked persons, whether military or civilian, may not be the object of attack.
Combatants cease to be subject to attack when they have individually laid down their arms to surrender, when they are no longer capable of resistance or when the unit in which they are serving or embarked has surrendered or has been captured. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, §§ 11.4, 11.6 and 11.8; see also § 8.2.1.
The manual also states:
The following acts constitute war crimes:
3.Offences against the sick and wounded, including killing, wounding, or mistreating enemy forces disabled by sickness or wounds.
4.… offences against combatants who have laid down their arms and surrendered.
5.Offences against the survivors of ships and aircraft lost at sea, including killing, wounding, or mistreating the shipwrecked, and failing to provide for the safety of survivors as military circumstances permit. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.5(3)–(5).
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Soldiers’ Manual states: “A person wounded or sick is hors de combat.” 
El Salvador, Manual del Combatiente, undated, p. 7.
The manual also instructs: “Do not kill … enemies who have laid down their arms and surrendered.” 
El Salvador, Manual del Combatiente, undated, p. 8.
Ethiopia
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), “wounded and sick enemy soldiers” do not constitute military objectives. 
Ethiopia, Standing Rules of Engagement, National Defense Force, Addis Ababa, 2007, § 8.4.2.
France
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, states that under international conventions it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 9 bis (2).
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “It is prohibited to kill or wound an adversary who surrenders.” 
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: “It is prohibited to attack, kill or wound an adversary who surrenders.” It adds: “Prisoners shall be spared.” 
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. 2.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) incorporates the content of Article 41 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. The manual adds: “Any intention to surrender must be clearly expressed: by raising hands, throwing down weapons or waving a white flag.” 
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. 105; see also p. 104.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) contains the rule: “Never fight against an opponent who has laid down arms or has surrendered.” 
Germany, Taschenkarte, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Bearbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, Zentrum Innere Führung, June 1991, § 604, picture 601, pp. 33–34.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “An enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, surrenders or is otherwise unable to fight or to defend himself shall no longer be made the object of attack.” 
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 KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 705.
The manual further states: “Grave breaches of international humanitarian law are in particular: … launching attacks against defenceless persons.” 
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 KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 1209.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states:
Only that violence may be used which is necessary to strike down the adversary. The defenceless or surrendering adversary may no longer be fought.
The wounded, sick and shipwrecked shall be respected and protected in all circumstances. Any violence to their lives or persons is prohibited. 
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, pp. 3 and 5.
The manual further recognizes the white flag as the flag of parlementaires and the flag of surrendering combatants. 
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. 6.
Greece
The Hellenic Navy Regulations (1993), as amended, provides: “The Commander orders the cease of fire against an enemy ship which has lowered the flag and surrenders, after taking all necessary measures of instant action to ensure that the above act does not constitute perfidy.” 
Greece, Hellenic Navy Regulations (Part A), Presidential Decree 210/1993, as amended, Article 5325.
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010), under the heading “Enemy combatants who surrender”, states: “Spare them.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 4.
Under the heading “Distinctive signs” and in a section on “Flag of … combatants who surrender”, the manual also 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 also states:
4. Do not fight enemies hors de combat or those who surrender. …
5. … [P]rotect … the wounded and sick. 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 15.
Guinea
Guinea’s Disciplinary Regulations (2012) states:
Military personnel in combat are prohibited from:
- firing on, wounding or killing an enemy who surrenders or who is captured or with whom a ceasefire has been agreed;
- refusing an unconditional surrender. 
Guinea, Règlement de Service dans les Forces Armées, Volume 1: Règlement de Discipline Générale (Service Regulations in the Armed Forces, Volume 1: General Discipline Regulations), 2012 edition, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, approved by Presidential Decree No. D 293/PRG/SGG/2012, 6 December 2012, Article 12(b).
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Air Force Manual (1990) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure the enemy who has surrendered.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, § 15(b)3.
The manual further states:
It is prohibited to attack:
a. Enemy ships which are obviously intending to surrender;
b. Shipwrecked crew, including the crew of military air craft of the adverse party. 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law in Air Warfare, Indonesian Air Force, 1990, § 15(b)3.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) provides a list of “Soldiers Rules”, one of which is: “Do not attack enemy soldiers, sailors or airmen who surrender. Disarm them and treat them as prisoners of war.” 
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 Laws of War (1998) provides:
The laws of war do set clear bars to the possibility of harming combatants when the combatant is found “outside the frame of hostilities”, as when he asks to surrender, or when he is wounded in a way that does not allow him to take an active part in the fighting. In such situations, it is absolutely prohibited to harm the combatant.
When is a combatant regarded as leaving the sphere of hostilities? While storming at zero distance, must a combatant hold his fire against a combatant raising his hands, but still holding his weapon? This is a difficult question to answer, especially under combat conditions. At any rate, there are several criteria that can guide us: Does the combatant show clear intent to surrender using universally accepted signs, such as raising his hands? Is the soldier seeking to surrender liable to jeopardize our forces or is the range considered not dangerous? Did the surrenderer lay down his arms? 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, pp. 42 and 45.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
The rules of warfare … include many customs that have become entrenched in warfare over the years, such as not attacking a prisoner-of-war who is asking to surrender or waving a white flag as a sign of surrender. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 10.
The manual further states that “it is forbidden to attack the enemy’s wounded”. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 24.
In addition, the manual states:
[T]he rules of war include a ban on attacking a combatant who is “hors de combat”, for example while he is asking to surrender or if he is wounded in such a way that does not allow him to participate in combat actively. In situations such as these, it is absolutely forbidden in the strongest terms to attack such combatant. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 29.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) states that it is prohibited to use violence “to kill or injure an enemy … when he, having laid down arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. It also forbids “firing at the shipwrecked”. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 8(2) and (3).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states: “A combatant who is recognized (or should be recognized) as being out of combat may not be attacked (surrendering, wounded, shipwrecked in water …). The intent to surrender can be shown with a white flag.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 72.
Furthermore, one of the rules to be observed when confronted with enemy combatants who surrender is “to spare them”. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, p. 29.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states: “IT IS NOT PERMITTED to attack enemy soldiers demonstrating the intention to surrender.” 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 250.
(emphasis in original)
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “The enemy combatant who is no longer in a position to fight is no longer to be attacked … This is the case for combatants who surrender, for the injured, … for the shipwrecked.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15.
The manual further insists:
It is forbidden to kill or wound someone who has surrendered having laid down his arms or who no longer has any means of defence …
Any intention to surrender must be clearly expressed; raising arms, throwing away one’s weapons or waving a white flag, etc. …
Combatants who are captured (with or without having surrendered) shall no longer be attacked. Their protective status starts from the moment of capture, and applies only to captured combatants who then abstain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, pp. 6 and 7; see also Précis No. 2, p. 15 and Précis No. 3, p. 14.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Army Regulations (1971) and Field Manual (1996) prohibit attacks against persons intending to surrender, and against the wounded, sick, shipwrecked and prisoners. 
Lebanon, Règlement Général de l’Armée, No. 1/400, Ministère de la Défense, Commandement de l’Armée, 14 January 1971, § 17; Manuel de Service du Terrain dans l’Armée Libanaise, Arrêt No. 3188/A.A./Q, Département de l’Armée pour la Planification, Direction des Etudes Générales, 23 October 1996, §§ 7 and 8(a), (e) and (f).
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “A combatant who is recognized (or should be recognized) as being hors de combat shall not be attacked (surrendering, wounded, shipwrecked …). The intent to surrender can be shown with a white flag.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 7-O, § 17; see also Fiche No. 5-T, § 4.
The manual adds: “Captured enemy combatants, whether having surrendered or not, are prisoners of war and shall no longer be attacked.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 6-SO, § A.
Mali
Mali’s Army Regulations (1979) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”. 
Mali, Règlement du Service dans l’Armée, 1ère Partie: Discipline Générale, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, 1979, Article 36.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention II, states: “The Convention provides that members of the armed forces and other persons at sea who are wounded, sick or shipwrecked must be respected and protected in all circumstances”. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 111.
The manual also states: “It is prohibited to: … kill or wound persons who have surrendered at discretion.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 389(C)
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states that “members of enemy forces who surrender … must not be attacked.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(f).
The manual also states: “Do not attack or harm enemies who surrender.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(n).
Morocco
Morocco’s Disciplinary Regulations (1974) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”.  
Morocco, Règlement de Discipline Général dans les Forces Armées Royales, Dahir No. 1-74-383 du 15 rejeb 1394, 5 August 1974, Article 25(2).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
It is prohibited to attack an adversary who has laid down his arms or has surrendered.
In addition, an adversary who has indicated his intention to surrender may not be attacked.
An adversary who is unconscious or who is otherwise placed hors de combat by wounds or sickness, and who is no longer capable of defending himself may not be attacked either. In general, any person who is in the power of an adverse party may not be attacked.
A combatant who has just become a prisoner of war and uses violence or escapes ceases to be hors de combat and may again be the target of attack. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. IV-3 and IV-4.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “It is prohibited to attack … combatants who are no longer fighting because of wounds or sickness and who have surrendered.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-36.
The Handbook adds: “Wounded and sick soldiers who have laid down their arms have to be spared and protected, whatever party they belong to.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-40.
Netherlands
The IFOR Instructions (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Members of enemy troops who want to surrender may not be maltreated.” 
Netherlands, IFOR Instructiekaart, geweldsinstructie, First Edition, 18 December 1995, § 4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
0409. An adversary who has laid down his arms or surrendered may not be attacked. An adversary who intimates that he is going to surrender also may not be attacked: he must be treated as a prisoner of war. An adversary who is unconscious or otherwise hors de combat due to wounds or sickness, so that he cannot defend himself, may not be attacked. In general, a person who is in the power of an adversary may not be attacked. However, a combatant who has been taken as a prisoner of war and uses violence or escapes has himself forfeited his “hors de combat” status and may again be the target of an attack. The degree of force will depend on circumstances and need.
0410. If a person falls into the adversary’s hands and the conditions of battle prevent that person from being removed as a prisoner of war, that person must be released.
A British military tribunal rejected an appeal to necessity of war in the case of the Peleus, a German U-boat whose commander had given the order to fire on life rafts carrying drowning survivors from a ship torpedoed by him, to prevent them from revealing the presence of his submarine. An American military commission would not admit an appeal to necessity of war by the German Lieutenant Thiele who, while hiding from American troops encircling him, had allowed a wounded American prisoner of war to be killed. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0409–0410.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
A person who is recognised as, or who in the circumstances should be recognised as, hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack. A person is hors de combat if:
a) he is in the power of an adverse Party;
b) he clearly expresses an intention to surrender; or
c) he has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and is therefore incapable of defending himself;
provided that in any of these cases he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 503(2) (land warfare); see also § 612(2) (air warfare).
The manual further states that “killing or wounding an enemy who, having laid down his arms or no longer having a means of defence, has accordingly surrendered” is a war crime. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1704(2)(c).
Likewise, “among other war crimes recognised by the customary law of armed conflict are … firing upon shipwrecked personnel”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1704(5).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Operational Code of Conduct (1967) states: “Soldiers who surrender will not be killed.” 
Nigeria, Operational Code of Conduct for Nigerian Armed Forces, Federal Military Government of Nigeria, July 1967, § 4(e).
Nigeria
Under Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994), it is prohibited “to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer any means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(l)(iii).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War considers “killing or injuring an enemy who has laid down his weapons” as an “illegitimate tactic”. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 14(a)(5).
Nigeria
Under Nigeria’s Soldiers’ Code of Conduct, it is prohibited “to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer any means of defence has surrendered at discretion”. 
Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 12(d).
Peru
Peru’s Human Rights Charter of the Security Forces (1991) states that it is prohibited to kill defenceless persons and adds that “the life of captured, surrendered and wounded persons must be respected”. 
Peru, Derechos Humanos: Decálogo de las Fuerzas del Orden, Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, Ministerio de Defensa, Ejército Peruano, 1991, pp. 6 and 7.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Attacks on people taking no part in the hostilities or those who have ceased to participate in the fighting (wounded, sick or shipwrecked combatants, prisoners of war and civilians) … are considered to be war crimes.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 31.a.
The manual defines the term “wounded, sick or shipwrecked” as:
The wounded and sick are all those persons, whether military or civilian, who, because of their physical or mental condition, are in need of medical assistance or care and refrain from any act of hostility.
The shipwrecked are all those persons, whether military or civilian, who are in peril at sea or in other waters. They continue to be considered shipwrecked until the rescue operation has ended. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 33.a.(3).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Attacks on people taking no part in the hostilities or those who have ceased to participate in the fighting (wounded, sick or shipwrecked combatants, prisoners of war, civilians) … are considered to be war crimes.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 32(a), p. 248; see also § 36(a), p. 297 and § 100(a), p. 297 (prisoners of war).
The manual defines the term “wounded, sick or shipwrecked” as:
The wounded and sick are all those persons, whether military or civilian, who, because of their physical or mental condition, are in need of medical assistance or care and refrain from any act of hostility.
The shipwrecked are all those persons, whether military or civilian, who are in peril at sea or in other waters. They continue to be considered shipwrecked until the rescue operation has ended. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 34(a)(1), p. 252.
Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines instructs: “Do not fight enemies … who surrender. Disarm them and hand them over to your superior.” 
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, § 4.
Philippines
The Rules for Combatants (1989) of the Philippines provides: “It is forbidden to attack … a wounded enemy combatant; an enemy combatant who surrenders …” 
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, § 3.
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
During an engagement:
4. Don’t kill enemy combatants who are wounded, who could no longer fight or who have already surrendered. By International Humanitarian Law, it is authorized to neutralize enemy forces by reasonable means while in combat. An enemy who wields a firearm and considered a threat is still a military objective and thus considered an authorized target. As long as he is wielding his firearm, he can still be considered as target for neutralization. But as soon as he drops his firearm, raises his hand or a white cloth that is a gesture of symbol of surrender, he can no longer be shot. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 59, § 4.
In its glossary, the Handbook further notes:
Enemy “hors de combat” – enemy who is out of combat. A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, is no longer able to participate in combat, shall not be attacked (e.g. surrendering, wounded, dead, shipwrecked in water, descending by parachute from an aircraft in distress).
Surrender … – Any intention to surrender must be clearly expressed: raising arms, throwing away one’s weapons, bearing a white flag, etc. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, pp. 68 and 71, Glossary.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996) states that combatants who are disabled shall not be attacked. 
Republic of Korea, Military Law Manual, 1996, p. 86.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Operational Law Manual (1996) states that combatants who are unwilling to fight or express their intention to surrender shall not be attacked. 
Republic of Korea, Operational Law Manual, 1996, p. 43.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) instructs combatants that the “killing or injuring of an adversary who surrenders … is prohibited”. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 32; see also p. 5.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) provides that it is prohibited “to kill or injure enemy persons who have laid down their arms, who have no means of defending themselves, who have surrendered”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 5(h).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “The prohibited methods of warfare include … killing or wounding persons who, having laid down their arms, or having no longer means of defence, have surrendered at discretion.” 
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.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
Don’t fight enemies who are sick, wounded or who surrender. Such persons are no longer in a position to fight. They are to be made Prisoners of War and not to be punished, but only prevented from continuing to fight (disarmament) and their suffering minimized (medical care if needed). They should therefore be protected and you have a duty to collect and care for them, whether they are friend or foe. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 34; see also p. 10.
Senegal
Senegal’s Disciplinary Regulations (1990) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”. 
Senegal, Règlement de Discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret 90-1159, 12 October 1990, Article 34(2).
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that “making a person … who is wounded or has surrendered … the object of attack knowing that that person is out of combat” constitutes a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and a war crime. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, §§ 37(c) and 41.
The manual explains: “Surrender may be by any means that communicates the intention to give up.” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 30, note 1.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states: “Soldiers who have surrendered or who are in the control of the enemy … must be protected.” 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 52.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides:
It is prohibited to attack an enemy who is hors de combat:
a)because he is in the power of an adverse party;
b) because he clearly expresses his intention to surrender;
c)because he is unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and is therefore incapable of defending himself.
In any of these cases, he always abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. Otherwise, the prohibition [to attack him] disappears. 
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, § 3.3.c.(3); see also §§ 4.5.b.(1)b), 10.6.a and 10.8.f.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
It is prohibited to attack those persons who are out of action or hors de combat because they:
a. are in the power of an adverse party;
b. clearly express an intention to surrender;
c. have been rendered unconscious or are otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness and therefore incapable of defending themselves.
These persons are considered hors de combat provided that they abstain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape. If they do not comply with these requirements, the prohibition no longer applies. 
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, § 3.3.c.(3); see also § 4.5.a.(1).(b).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) notes:
The [1907 Hague Regulations] and [the 1949] Geneva Conventions include rules intended to afford protection to combatants in situations where they have laid down their arms or are no longer capable of defending themselves … or where combatants have become sick, are wounded, shipwrecked or captured. These fundamental rules have not always been applied in combat situations, and for this reason it has been considered necessary to reaffirm certain of the older provisions to assert their fundamental importance …
Personnel attempting to save themselves from a sinking vessel shall according to international humanitarian law be considered as distressed, and may not be attacked. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.2, pp. 32 and 33.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “It is prohibited to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered.” Furthermore, “a person who surrenders must clearly indicate his intention by his behaviour; he must no longer attempt to fight or escape”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 19, including commentary.
The manual adds: “The life of an individual who surrenders must be spared. During the Second World War, and subsequent conflicts, this rule has been frequently violated.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 20, commentary.
The manual further provides that it is prohibited to finish off or exterminate the wounded and sick. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 69, commentary.
The manual also notes that “prisoners of war are protected persons” and that “captivity starts as soon as a member of the armed forces falls into enemy hands”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Articles 96(2) and 109.
In addition, according to the manual, “to finish off the wounded”, “to machine-gun the shipwrecked” and “to kill or injure an enemy who is surrendering” constitute war crimes under the manual. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Articles 192, commentary and 200(2)(e).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I spare persons that surrender or are hors de combat.” 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 2.
The Aide-Memoire also states with regard to the white flag:
Correct behaviour
- The White Flag clearly indicates willingness to negotiate, sometimes even willingness to surrender;
- Respect bearers of the White Flag. They are not allowed to be attacked.
Prohibited is/are …
- Attacks against bearers of the White Flag[.] 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, 1 July 2005, Chart of Protective Signs.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
12. The principle of distinction
159 Hostilities must be directed exclusively against combatants and military objectives. …
3 Protected persons are persons who are not or no longer taking part in combat or enjoy specially protected status, such as … wounded persons and prisoners of war.
13 Protected persons
13.1 Behaviour with regard to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked and medical and religious personnel
173 Wounded, sick and shipwrecked persons become protected persons as soon as they have laid down their arms or are hors de combat. They must not be attacked.
13.2 Behaviour with regard to combatants and prisoners
182 Persons who clearly indicate their willingness to surrender may not be attacked. As soon as circumstances permit, they must be searched, disarmed and evacuated from the danger zone. This must be done while constantly ensuring one’s own safety at all times (surveying the battlefield, cover, protection against fire).
183 As long as they do not defend themselves, pilots and crew members who parachute from an enemy aircraft in distress to save their own lives may neither be attacked from the air nor from the ground. Once landed, they are treated as prisoners of war. If they do not surrender or resist capture they are considered combatants and may be rendered hors de combat.
186 The white flag indicates that the enemy wants to negotiate. It can also indicate that the enemy wishes to surrender. Persons, buildings and vehicles marked with the white flag must not be attacked. 
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, §§ 159(3), 173, 182–183 and 186; see also § 172. The German language version notes in the first sentence of § 173: “… as soon as they have laid down their arms or are otherwise [“sonstwie”] hors de combat.” Heading 13.2 reads in the German language version: “Behaviour with regard to surrendering [“sich ergebenden”] combatants and prisoners”.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states: “It is prohibited to kill or injure an adversary who surrenders.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 4; see also Fascicule I, p. 17 and Fascicule II, p. 18.
The manual also provides: “Any person recognized, or who should be recognized, as not being able to participate any longer in combat shall not be attacked (for example: in case of surrender, wounds, … shipwreck …).” It specifies that an intention to surrender must be clearly expressed and gives a few examples, such as raising hands, laying down arms and waving a white flag. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 9.
Uganda
Uganda’s Code of Conduct (1986) orders troops to “never kill … any captured prisoners, as the guns should only be reserved for armed enemies or opponents”. 
Uganda, Code of Conduct for the National Resistance Army (NRA), Legal Notice No. 1 of 1986 (Amendment), 23 August 1986, § A.4.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
1.3.2. The following methods of warfare shall be prohibited:
- attacks against persons who have been shipwrecked …
1.4.10. All parties to an internal armed conflict shall provide protection to:
- members of armed forces who have laid down their arms;
- those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause.
1.4.12. All wounded, sick and shipwrecked or those who have suffered an aircraft crash irrespective of their previous participation in an armed conflict shall be respected and protected.
1.8.5. Serious violations of international humanitarian law directed against people include:
- directing attacks against persons protected by international humanitarian law [including bearers of flags of truce and those who accompany them]. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.3.2, 1.4.10, 1.4.12 and 1.8.5.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
It is forbidden to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer the means of defence, has surrendered at discretion, i.e., unconditionally … A combatant is entitled to commit acts of violence up to the moment of his surrender without losing the benefits of quarter. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 119.
The manual also states: “Even if a capitulation is unconditional, the victor has nowadays no longer the power of life and death over his prisoners, and is not absolved from observing the laws of war towards them.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 476.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides that it is forbidden “to kill or wound someone who has surrendered, having laid down his arms, or who no longer has any means of defence”. 
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. 12, § 2(b); see also Annex A, p. 44, § 12 and p. 47, § 10(f).
The Pamphlet also states: “Shipwrecked persons may not be made the object of 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 7, p. 26, § 2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
“A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized to be hors de combat shall not be made the object of attack.” A person is hors de combat if:
a. “he is in the power of an adverse Party”;
b. “he clearly expresses an intention to surrender”; or
c.“he has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise incapacitated by wounds or sickness, and therefore is incapable of defending himself”;
“provided that in any of these cases he abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.6.
The manual further states:
The Hague Regulations 1907 are now recognized as part of customary law. Those regulations provide that the following acts are “especially forbidden”:
c. to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 16.27.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) provides: “It is especially forbidden … to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defense, has surrendered at discretion.” 
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, § 29.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “The law of armed conflict clearly forbids the killing or wounding of an enemy who, in good faith, surrenders.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 4-2(d).
Furthermore, the Pamphlet states: “In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: … deliberate attack on … shipwrecked survivors”. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 15-3(c)(1).
United States of America
The US Soldier’s Manual (1984) forbids attacks against non-combatants, including soldiers who surrender or who are sick, wounded or captured. 
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. 5.
The manual further states:
Enemy soldiers may reach the point where they would rather surrender than fight. They may signal to you by waving a white flag, by crawling from their positions with arms raised, or by yelling at you to stop firing so that they can give up. The way they signal their desire to surrender may vary, but you must allow them to give up once you receive the signal. It is illegal to fire on enemy soldiers who have thrown down their weapons and offered to surrender. 
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. 13.
United States of America
The US Health Service Manual (1991) notes that the meaning of the words “wounded and sick” is a matter of common sense and good faith. It adds: “It is the act of falling or laying down of arms which constitutes the claim to protection. Only the soldier who is himself seeking to kill may be killed.” 
United States, Field Manual 8–10, Health Service Support in a Theatre of Operations, Department of the Army Headquarters, 1 March 1991, p. A-2.
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) instructs: “Do not engage anyone who has surrendered, is out of battle due to sickness or wounds, [or] is shipwrecked.” 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement, Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, § A.
United States of America
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) prohibits the “killing or wounding of enemy who have surrendered or are incapacitated and incapable of resistance”. 
United States, Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-182(h).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides:
Members of the armed forces incapable of participating in combat due to injury or illness may not be the object of attack …
Similarly, shipwrecked persons, whether military or civilian, may not be the object of attack.
Combatants cease to be subject to attack when they have individually laid down their arms to surrender … or when the unit in which they are serving or embarked has surrendered … However, the law of armed conflict does not precisely define when surrender takes effect or how it may be accomplished in practical terms. Surrender involves an offer by the surrendering party (a unit or individual combatant) and an ability to accept on the part of the opponent. The latter may not refuse an offer of surrender when communicated, but that communication must be made at a time when it can be received and properly acted upon – an attempt to surrender in the midst of a hard-fought battle is neither easily communicated nor received. The issue is one of reasonableness. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), §§ 11.4 and 11.7; see also § 8.2.1.
The Handbook also states:
The following acts are representative war crimes:
3. Offenses against the sick and wounded, including killing, wounding, or mistreating enemy forces disabled by sickness or wounds
4. … offenses against combatants who have laid down their arms and surrendered
5. Offenses against the survivors of ships and aircraft lost at sea, including killing, wounding, or mistreating the shipwrecked; and failing to provide for the safety of survivors as military circumstances permit. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 6.2.5(3)-(5).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
Combatants, whether lawful or unlawful, who are hors de combat are those who cannot, do not, or cease to participate in hostilities due to wounds, sickness, shipwreck, surrender, or capture. They may not be intentionally or indiscriminately attacked. They may be detained. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.2.3.
The Handbook further states:
Combatants, whether lawful or unlawful, cease to be subject to attack when they have individually laid down their arms and indicate clearly their wish to surrender. The law of armed conflict does not precisely define when surrender takes effect or how it may be accomplished in practical terms. Surrender involves an offer by the surrendering party (a unit or individual combatant) and an ability to accept on the part of the opponent. The latter may not refuse an offer of surrender when communicated, but that communication must be made at a time when it can be received and properly acted upon – an attempt to surrender in the midst of an ongoing battle is neither easily communicated nor received. The issue is one of reasonableness. The mere fact that a combatant or enemy force is retreating or fleeing the battlefield, without some other positive indication of intent, does not constitute an attempt to surrender, even if such combatant or force has abandoned his or its arms or equipment. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.2.3.3.
The Handbook also states that examples of war crimes that could be considered as grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions include:
3. Offenses against the sick and wounded, including killing, wounding, or mistreating enemy forces disabled by sickness or wounds.
4. … offenses against combatants who have laid down their arms and surrendered.
5. Offenses against the survivors of ships and aircraft lost at sea, including killing, wounding, or mistreating the shipwrecked; and failing to provide for the safety of survivors as military circumstances permit. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.6(3)–(5).
United States of America
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states:
Legal Considerations
a. As a subset of military operations, detainee operations must comply with the law of war during all armed conflicts, however such conflicts are characterized, and in all other military operations …
c. The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 are fully applicable as a matter of international law to all military operations that qualify as international armed conflicts … The principles reflected in these treaties are considered customary international law, binding on all nations during international armed conflict. Although often referred to collectively as the “Geneva Conventions,” the specific treaties are:
(1) [1949] Geneva Convention [I] … This convention provides protection for members of the armed forces and other persons on the battlefield who are no longer actively participating in hostilities as the result of becoming wounded or sick …
(2) [1949] Geneva Convention [II] … This convention requires the … protection of members of the armed forces and other persons at sea who are wounded, sick, or shipwrecked. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. I-2–I-3.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) states: “The armed forces are an instrument of force and [may be] the direct object of attack. It is permitted to kill, wound or disable their members in combat, except when they surrender or when due to wounds or sickness they are disabled for combat.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 49.
The manual prohibits killing or injuring members of the armed forces as of the moment of surrender. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 68.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993), under the heading “Enemy prisoners”, states: “Spare them.” 
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. 8.
The Code of Conduct also states: “Persons not directly taking part in hostilities and those put out of action through sickness, injury, captivity or any other cause must be respected and protected against the effects of war.” 
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.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “directing attacks against a person who … having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” constitutes a war crime in international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 116(13).
Bahrain
Bahrain’s Military Penal Code (2002) provides: “Any combatant who commits an act of violence against a sick or wounded defenceless soldier shall be liable to life imprisonment.” 
Bahrain, Military Penal Code, 2002, Article 102.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Criminal Code (1998) of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whoever “kills or wounds an enemy who has laid down arms or unconditionally surrendered or has no means of defence” commits a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 158(1).
The Criminal Code (2000) of the Republika Srpska contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Article 438(1).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states:
Whoever in violation of the rules of international law in time of war or armed conflict kills or wounds an enemy who has laid down arms or unconditionally surrendered or has no means of defence, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of between one and ten years. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 177(1).
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:
f) killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion. 
Burundi, Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Article 4(B)(f).
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:
6°. Killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 2009, Article 198(2)(6°).
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).
Colombia
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on anyone who, during an armed conflict, commits acts aimed at leaving no survivors or at killing the wounded and sick. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Article 145.
Congo
The Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes defined in Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Congo, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act, 1998, Article 4.
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), whoever “kills or wounds an enemy who has laid down arms, or has surrendered at discretion, or has no longer any means of defence” commits a war crime. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 161(1).
Egypt
Egypt’s Military Criminal Code (1966) punishes anyone who commits violence against a person incapacitated by wounds or sickness if that person is incapable of defending himself. 
Egypt, Military Criminal Code, 1966, Article 137.
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “a person who kills … enemy combatants after they have laid down their arms and are placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds or another reason” commits a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 101.
Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957) punishes “whosoever, in time of war … kills or wounds an enemy who has surrendered or laid down his arms, or for any other reason is incapable of defending, or has ceased to defend, himself”. 
Ethiopia, Penal Code, 1957, Article 287(a).
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Article 275.- Dereliction of Duty Towards the Enemy.
Whoever, in time of war and contrary to public international law and humanitarian conventions:
(a) kills or wounds an enemy who has surrendered or laid down his arms, or who for any other reason is incapable of defending, or has ceased to defend, himself; or…
(d) orders one of the above acts,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with life imprisonment or death. 
Ethiopia, Criminal Code, 2004, Article 275.
The Criminal Code of 2004 repealed Ethiopia’s Penal Code of 1957.
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states:
Combatants must respect and treat with humanity all persons protected by the applicable international conventions …
Prisoners of war … [and] the wounded, sick and shipwrecked … are protected persons …
The protected persons are protected as long as they abstain from taking a direct part in hostilities.
It is prohibited for combatants to deliberately target protected persons. 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-8.
The Code of Defence also states: “Combatants shall not kill or wound an enemy combatant who is hors de combat or surrenders.” 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-9.
Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), the wilful killing or wounding of “persons who … have no means of defence, as well as … wounded and sick” in international or non-international armed conflicts is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 411(2)(a).
Furthermore, any war crime provided for by the 1998 ICC Statute, which is not explicitly mentioned in the Code, such as “killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms … has surrendered at discretion” in international armed conflicts, is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 413(d).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or non-international armed conflict, “wounds a member of the opposing armed forces or a combatant of the adverse party after the latter has surrendered unconditionally”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1(8)(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 international armed conflicts: “Killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defense, has clearly surrendered”. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 13(2)(G).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 41, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides that it is prohibited to use violence “to kill or injure an enemy … when he, having laid down arms and having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. It also forbids “firing at the shipwrecked”. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 35(2) and (3).
Lithuania
Under Lithuania’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1998, “killing … persons who have surrendered by giving up their arms or having no means to put up resistance, the wounded, sick persons or the crew of a sinking ship” during an international armed conflict or occupation is a war crime. 
Lithuania, Criminal Code, 1961 as amended in 1998, Article 333; see also Article 337.
Mali
Under Mali’s Penal Code (2001), “killing or injuring a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Mali, Penal Code, 2001, Article 31(i)(6).
Netherlands
The International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands provides that the following constitutes a crime, when committed in time of international armed conflict:
killing or wounding a combatant who is in the power of the adverse party, who has clearly indicated he wished to surrender, or who is unconscious or otherwise hors de combat as a result of wounds or sickness and is therefore unable to defend himself, provided that he refrains in all these cases from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(3)(e).
New Zealand
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crimes defined in Article 8(2)(b)(vi) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(2).
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Penal Code (1996) punishes any soldier “who maltreats an enemy who … is defenceless”. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Code, 1996, Article 53.
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 two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
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 … wounds a combatant who has surrendered or has been placed hors de combat.” 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 103(k).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military Justice (1980) punishes the persons “who finish off … the surrendered or wounded enemy who does not put up resistance”. 
Peru, Code of Military Justice, 1980, Article 94.
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
Any member of the military or police who in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict wounds a member of the enemy armed forces or a combatant of the adverse party after he or she has unconditionally surrendered or is in any other way hors de combat shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than six and no more than 12 years. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 92.
This article is no longer in force. Along with certain other articles in this legislation, it was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (en banc decision for case file No. 0012-2006-PI-TC, 8 January 2007) because it does not stipulate a crime committed in the line of duty that would fall under the jurisdiction of a military court pursuant to Article 173 of Peru’s Constitution.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010) states:
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than three and not more than ten years if he or she, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces have assumed control over the internal order, injures a member of the adverse armed forces after he or she has unconditionally surrendered or has otherwise been placed hors de combat. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 89.
Poland
Poland’s Penal Code (1997) punishes anyone who “kills … persons who, having laid down their arms or having no longer means of defence, have surrendered at discretion”. 
Poland, Penal Code, 1997, Article 123(1)(1).
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) provides:
Article: 8
A war crime is one of the following acts, committed during armed conflicts against persons or property protected under the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and its Additional Protocols I and II of 8 June 1977:
16° killing or wounding a person in the knowledge that he does not participate in the hostilities, or, in case he did fight, that he has laid down his arms or no longer has the means to defend himself.
Article: 9
Shall be punished by one of the following penalties any person having committed one of the war crimes provided for in Article 8 of this law:
1° the death penalty or life imprisonment where he has committed a crime provided for in point 1°, 2°, 3°, 9°, 11° or 16° of Article 8 of this law. 
Rwanda, Law Repressing the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Articles 8–9.
Senegal
Senegal’s Penal Code (1965), as amended in 2007, states that the following constitutes a war crime:
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:
5. killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion. 
Senegal, Penal Code, 1965, as amended in 2007, Article 431-3(b)(5).
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), whoever “kills or wounds an enemy who has laid down arms or surrendered unconditionally or who is defenceless” commits a war crime. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 379(1).
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
361. Treacherous violence. Surrender at discretion. – 1. Anyone who, in violation of the law and international agreements, treacherously uses violence against a person belonging to the enemy State, shall be punished by imprisonment for 1 to 15 years, if the act has resulted in personal harm, and by life imprisonment if the act has resulted in death.
2. The same penalties shall be applied where violence is used, even if not treacherously, against a person belonging to the enemy who has surrendered at discretion.
382. Arbitrary refusal to recognize the status of a lawful belligerent. – A commander who causes serious harm to lawful enemy belligerents who have fallen into his power, or to the sick, wounded or shipwrecked, 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, Articles 361 and 382.
South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” in international armed conflicts and “violence to life and person” on “those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause” in non-international armed conflicts. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, §§ (b)(vi) and (c)(i).
Spain
Spain’s Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces (1978) states: “The combatant shall not refuse the unconditional surrender of the enemy.” 
Spain, Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces, 1978, Article 138.
Spain
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) punishes any soldier “who mistreats an enemy who has surrendered or who has no longer means of defending himself”. 
Spain, Military Criminal Code, 1985, Article 69.
Sweden
Under Sweden’s Penal Code (1962), as amended in 1998, “attacks … on persons who are injured or disabled” are “crimes against international law”. 
Sweden, Penal Code, 1962, as amended in 1998, Chapter 22, § 6(3).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, punishes “anyone who kills or injures an enemy who has surrendered or who has otherwise ceased to defend himself” in time of armed conflict. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code as amended, 1927, Article 112.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended in 2007, states:
Any person who has killed or injured an enemy who has surrendered or who has otherwise ceased to defend himself,
is to be punished with three years’ or more imprisonment 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. 112c
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who, in the context of an armed conflict:
d. kills or wounds an enemy combatant … who is hors de combat. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and Article 112c (1)(d).
United Arab Emirates
The Regulations on Disciplinary Penalties (2000) of the United Arab Emirates provides:
Anyone who has wantonly committed an act of violence against a prisoner of war, wounded, or sick combatant incapable of defending himself, shall be liable to disciplinary imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months. 
United Arab Emirates, Regulations on Disciplinary Penalties, 2000, Article 40.
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)(vi) 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
Under the US War Crimes Act (1996), violations of Article 23(c) of the 1907 Hague Regulations are war crimes. 
United States, War Crimes Act, 1996, Section 2441(c)(2).
Venezuela
According to Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998), as amended, it is a crime against international law to “make a serious attempt on the life of those who surrender”. 
Venezuela, Code of Military Justice, 1998, as amended, Article 474(2).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, “a person who kills … the enemy who has laid down his arms or has surrendered unconditionally or has no means of defence” commits a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 146(1).
The commentary on the Penal Code specifies: “In the case of an armed conflict, it is irrelevant for this act whether it is international in nature or whether it is a civil war.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, commentary on Article 146.
Argentina
In its judgment in the Military Junta case in 1985, Argentina’s National Court of Appeals established that, in a situation of internal violence, “the combatants incapacitated by sickness or wounds shall not be killed and shall be given quarter”. 
Argentina, National Court of Appeals, Military Junta case, Judgment, 9 December 1985.
Canada
In 2010, in the Semrau case, Canada’s General Court Martial stated:
[1] …[T]he panel of the General Court Martial found you guilty of having behaved in a disgraceful manner. You were also charged with second degree murder, of attempt to commit murder using a firearm, and of negligent performance of a military duty, but the panel found you not guilty of these charges. I must now impose a just and appropriate sentence.
[4] You were found guilty of behaving in a disgraceful manner contrary to section 93 of the Code of Service Discipline, which is in the National Defence Act (NDA). The Code of Service Discipline promotes the need for good order, discipline, and high morale. The Criminal Code does not contain an offence similar to the one found at section 93 of the National Defence Act. The prosecution had to prove each of the essential elements of this offence beyond a reasonable doubt before the panel could find you guilty of this offence. The elements of that offence are:
a. your identity as the alleged offender;
b. the date and place of the commission of the offence;
c. that you had shot an unarmed and wounded unnamed male person while acting as the Commander of call sign 72A Operational Mentoring Liaison Team;
d. that such act constitutes disgraceful behaviour; and
e. your blameworthy state of mind at the time of the commission of the offence.
[5] You deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 as part of the Operational Mentor Liaison Team [OMLT] assigned to mentor the Afghan National Army (ANA). You were the commander of call sign 72A. This team was composed of four members divided into two fire teams. During the month of October 2008, you were involved in a clearing operation with the Afghan National Army in Helmand province in Afghanistan. You were mentoring the commander of an Afghan infantry company during that operation. On 19 October 2008, the lead element of that company encountered an enemy position. Attack helicopters were called in to suppress the enemy position. You and your fire team partner were located with Captain Shaffigullah, the ANA company commander, at the rear of the company when you first came upon the first insurgent who was lying on a path by a cornfield.
[6] The situation on the ground at the time seemed relatively calm although the potential for danger is omnipresent in such combat operations. After a brief examination of the insurgent, the ANA company commander moved to the position of the dead insurgent in the next cornfield. You also went to the location of the second insurgent and then you returned to the location of the first insurgent so that your fire team partner could photograph the insurgent for intelligence purposes. Once the photographs had been taken, you shot the insurgent.
[7] Your identity as the offender and the time and place of the offence were never in contention during this trial. It was evident the insurgent was unarmed and that you were the commander call sign 72A at the time of the offence. The nature and extent of the insurgent’s wounds were described by numerous witnesses during the trial. Four witnesses testified he was alive when they observed him. I instructed the panel they had to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the unnamed male person was alive when you shot him, because the particulars of the charge allege that the unnamed male person was wounded. As I instructed the panel, a “wound” is defined as an injury to living tissue caused by a cut, blow, or other impact; thus one must be alive to be described as “wounded.” Therefore, I conclude the panel was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the insurgent was still alive at the time you shot him.
[8] When addressing your state of mind, I instructed the panel that the prosecution had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to shoot the unarmed and wounded unnamed person. I take from the panel's verdict that they believed you intentionally shot the first insurgent. It does not really matter whether you shot the insurgent twice in quick succession – a “double-tap,” as we are taught in our infantry training – or whether you only shot him once.
[9] As I explained to the panel, to behave in a disgraceful manner requires that the behaviour is shockingly unacceptable in the circumstances. “Shocking” is defined as causing indignation or disgust. Having considered all of the evidence on the roles and duties of the OMLT members, the conduct expected of CF [Canadian Forces] members involved in operations in Afghanistan and the evidence pertaining to the circumstances surrounding the shooting of the insurgent, the panel decided that this behaviour was shockingly unacceptable in the circumstances.
[10] Why is shooting an unarmed and wounded person considered disgraceful? The code of conduct for CF personnel clearly states that we must offer assistance to wounded enemies that do not pose a threat to us. The code of conduct was taught to every OMLT member and was part of the soldier's card issued to every OMLT member. It was clear from the testimony of every witness that one cannot shoot an unarmed and wounded enemy. I conclude that shooting a wounded and unarmed person in the circumstances of the present case is considered disgraceful because it is so fundamentally contrary to our values, doctrine, and training that it is shockingly unacceptable.
[33] The prosecutor stated that Canadian soldiers must treat the enemy hors de combat humanely and that such mistreatment represents a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. He then mentioned you had not been convicted of a grave breach, but that he only wished to underline the seriousness of the offence. He also argued that ending the life of another is not permitted under Canadian law and that assisted suicide is an offence in Canada. He then referred to courts martial pertaining to the mistreatment of the young detainee in Somalia.
[34] I find these submissions orient the discussion in the wrong direction and are of no assistance to the court in determining an appropriate sentence. You were not charged under section 130 of the NDA of having committed a grave breach contrary to section 3 of the Geneva Conventions Act. You have not been found guilty of murder or of assisting a suicide. The facts surrounding this offence bear absolutely no resemblance to the facts surrounding the atrocities committed on the young Somali. I will say it again: You are to be sentenced for the offence for which you were convicted and not for an offence for which you might have been charged or for an offence for which you were found not guilty. The particulars of the charge do not allege you killed the insurgent; they allege you shot the insurgent.
[37] You explained to members of your team you felt you had to shoot the insurgent because of his condition. You told Captain Shaffigullah that you wanted to help the insurgent. Your actions might have been motivated by an honest belief you were doing the right thing; nonetheless, you committed a serious breach of discipline. You failed in your role as a leader because you chose to put aside your training and orders. Thus you put your subordinates in one of the most precarious situations imaginable: that of knowing their leader had committed a serious breach of discipline. …
[44] The Code of Service Discipline contains 60 distinctive military offences that may be found at ss. 73 to 129 of the National Defence Act. A review of the maximum sentences prescribed by these service offences indicates that this offence is objectively one of the more serious offences found the Code of Service Discipline. The maximum punishments for 28 of these 60 service offences are punishments of imprisonment for life or imprisonment for more than two years. The maximum punishment for behaving in a disgraceful manner is imprisonment for five years. Therefore, based on the maximum punishment a court martial may impose for this offence, the offence to which you have been found guilty is objectively one of the more serious service offences.
[45] Subjectively, this is also a serious offence. One must examine the conduct of the accused as well as the reasons why this behaviour is deemed disgraceful. The act of unlawfully shooting a wounded and unarmed person is serious. In the military context, you committed a grave breach of discipline because you decided to set aside your orders, training and fundamental principles. As I stated previously, this conduct is deemed disgraceful because it is so fundamentally contrary to our values and training that it is shockingly unacceptable. …
[47] … You decided to shoot an unarmed and wounded insurgent. Notwithstanding your motive, you chose not to follow the clear directives that had been provided to you throughout your training in the Canadian Forces and by your chain of command. … Had you respected the clear, simple rules found on your soldier’s card and inculcated in every Canadian soldier, you would not have shot the wounded and unarmed insurgent and you would not have behaved in a disgraceful manner.
[48] I believe this sentence must focus primarily on the denunciation of the conduct of the offender and on general and specific deterrence. …
[49] … Having considered the specific circumstances of this offence and of the offender, and the mitigating and aggravating factors, I do not believe that in the present case a sentence of imprisonment is the appropriate minimum necessary sentence to maintain discipline and to restore discipline in the offender and in military society. I would add that separating the offender from society, in our case military society, may be done through incarceration, but also through dismissal from Her Majesty's service.
[50] Dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty's service is a most severe punishment. A punishment of dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty's service means you are not eligible to serve Her Majesty again in any military or civil capacity unless there is an emergency or the punishment is set aside or altered. It also affects some of the benefits you could receive upon release from the CF.
[51] While the evidence as found in the exhibits and in the testimony of witnesses demonstrates that you are a person of good character, I have not been presented with any evidence that suggests you take responsibility for your actions and their consequences or that you would not repeat this serious breach of discipline. On 19 October 2008, you chose to shoot an unarmed and wounded insurgent instead of respecting clear, fundamental and unambiguous directives. This behaviour is unacceptable and is disgraceful. …
[52] The court must impose a sentence that will provide a clear message to you and to others that such behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. … You also demonstrated a lack of self-discipline and of respect for fundamental principles and orders. The sentence I am about to pronounce will address these concerns.
[53] … I conclude that the minimum necessary sentence in the present case is dismissal from Her Majesty’s service and a reduction in rank to the rank of second lieutenant. 
Canada, General Court Martial, Semrau case, Reasons for Sentence, 5 October 2010, §§ 1, 4–10, 33–34, 37, 44–45 and 47–53.
[footnote in original omitted]
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.
Germany
In its judgment in the Stenger and Cruisus case after the First World War, Germany’s Leipzig Court specified that an order to shoot down men who were abusing the privileges of captured or wounded men
would not have been contrary to international principles, for the protection afforded by the regulations for land warfare does not extend to such wounded who take up arms again and renew the fight. Such men have by doing so forfeited the claim for mercy granted to them by the laws of warfare. 
Germany, Leipzig Court, Stenger and Cruisus case, Judgment, 1921.
Germany
In the Llandovery Castle case in 1921, Germany’s Reichsgericht found the accused, two crew officers, guilty of having fired upon enemies in lifeboats in violation of the laws and customs of war after their hospital ship had been sunk. The prosecutor emphasized that “in war at sea the killing of ship-wrecked persons who have taken refuge in lifeboats is forbidden”. The Court rejected the accused’s defence of superior orders on the ground that the rule prohibiting firing on lifeboats was “simple and universally known”. 
Germany, Reichsgericht, Llandovery Castle case, Judgment, 16 July 1921.
Nigeria
In 1968, in a Nigerian case referred to by the ICTY Appeals Chamber in the interlocutory appeal in the Tadić case, “a Nigerian Lieutenant was court-martialled, sentenced to death and executed by a firing squad at Port-Harcourt for killing a rebel Biafran soldier who had surrendered to Federal troops near Aba”. 
Nigeria, Case of 3 September 1968 cited in Daily TimesNigeria, 3 September 1968, p. 1; Daily TimesNigeria, 4 September 1968, p. 1; referred to in ICTY, Tadić case, Interlocutory Appeal, 2 October 1995, § 106.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Eck case (The Peleus Trial) before the UK Military Court at Hamburg in 1945 concerned the sinking, during the Second World War, of a Greek steamship by a German U-boat on the high seas and the subsequent killing of shipwrecked members of the crew of the Greek boat. Four members of the crew of the German U-boat were accused of having violated the laws and usages of war by firing and throwing grenades on the survivors of the sunken ship. The Court held that there was no case of justifiable recourse to the plea of necessity when the accused killed by machine-gun fire survivors of a sunken ship, in order to destroy every trace of sinking and thus make the pursuit of the submarine improbable. In summing up, the Judge Advocate underlined that it was a fundamental usage of war that the killing of unarmed enemies was forbidden as a result of the experience of civilized nations through many centuries. He also stated that to fire so as to kill helpless survivors of a torpedoed ship was a grave breach of the law of nations. He added that the right to punish the perpetrators of such an act had clearly been recognized for many years. The accused were found guilty of the war crimes charged. 
United Kingdom, Military Court at Hamburg, Eck case (The Peleus Trial), Judgment, 20 October 1945.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In the Renoth case before the UK Military Court at Elten in 1946, the accused, two German policemen and two German customs officials, were accused of committing a war crime for their involvement in the killing of an Allied airman whose plane had crashed on German soil. After he had emerged from his aircraft unhurt, the pilot was arrested by Renoth, then attacked and beaten, before Renoth shot him. All the accused were found guilty. 
United Kingdom, Military Court at Elten, Renoth case, Judgment, 10 January 1946.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In the Von Ruchteschell case before the UK Military Court at Hamburg in 1947, the accused was charged, inter alia, of having continued to fire on a British merchant vessel after the latter had indicated surrender. He was found guilty on that count. The central question concerned the ways of indicating surrender. The Court noted that, even if the accused did not receive a signal of surrender, he could still be convicted because he “deliberately or recklessly avoided any question of surrender by making it impossible for the ship to make a signal”, which constituted a violation of the customary rules of sea warfare. 
United Kingdom, Military Court at Hamburg, Von Ruchteschell case, Judgment, 21 May 1947.
United States of America
In the Dostler case before the US Military Commission at Rome in 1945, the accused, the commander of a German army corps, was found guilty of having ordered the shooting of 15 American prisoners of war in violation of the 1907 Hague Regulations and of long-established laws and customs of war. The accused relied on the defence of superior orders based, inter alia, on the Führer’s order of 18 October 1942. This order provided that enemy soldiers participating in commando operations should be given no quarter, but added that these provisions did not apply to enemy soldiers who surrendered and to those who were captured in actual combat within the limits of normal combat activities (offensives, large-scale air or seaborne landings), nor did they apply to enemy troops captured during naval engagements. 
United States, Military Commission at Rome, Dostler case, Judgment, 12 October 1945.
Algeria
In 1958, during the Algerian war of independence, in an armed clash between the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) and French soldiers, the commander of the ALN battalion gave the order to spare enemy soldiers who wanted to surrender. The four French soldiers who surrendered were the only ones to survive the attack. 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 2.1, referring to “L’opération militaire du 11 janvier 1958”, El Moudjahid, Vol. 1, pp. 298–299.
Australia
In a speech at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in 1995, the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs referred to the UNTAC Rules of Engagement, which specifies that “attacks on soldiers who have laid down their arms” are a criminal act. 
Australia, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Keynote Address entitled “The Use of Force in Peace Operations”, SIPRI and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Seminar, Stockholm, 10 April 1995, cited in Sarah Roberts (ed.), Australian Practice in International Law 1995, reprinted in Australian Yearbook of International Law, 1996, Vol. 17, p. 769.
Colombia
In a case against the State relative to the takeover of the Palacio de Justicia by guerrillas in 1985, a Colombian administrative court cited a document of the Colombian Ministry of Defence stating that a commander should “respect the life of the enemy who offers to surrender”. 
Colombia, Cundinamarca Administrative Court, Case No. 4010, Opinion of the Minister of Defence given before the House of Representatives, “Las fuerzas armadas de Colombia y la defensa de las institutiones democráticas”, Record of evidence.
Cuba
Cuban practice during the 1960s was reported in several sources. One commentator described witnessing “the surrender of hundreds of Batistianos from a small-town garrison”:
They were gathered within a hollow square of rebel Tommy-gunners and harangued by Raul Castro: “We hope that you will stay with us and fight against the master who so ill-used you. If you decide to refuse this invitation – and I am not going to repeat it – you will be delivered to the Cuban Red Cross tomorrow. Once you are under Batista’s orders again, we hope that you will not take arms against us. But, if you do, remember this: we took you this time. We can take you again. And when we do, we will not frighten or torture or kill you … If you are captured a second time or even a third … we will again return you exactly as we are doing now. 
D. Chapelle, How Castro Won, in T. N. Greene (ed.), The Guerrilla – And How to Fight Him: Selections from the Marine Corps Gazette, Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1962, p. 233; also cited in Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations, Basic Books, New York, 1977.
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 kill or wound an enemy who surrenders.ˮ 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
In an exercise asking students to identify IHL violations, the ministry provided the following examples:
[A former detainee states:] “[W]hen a prisoner is captured they do not really know what to do with him. That is why soldiers kill prisoners.”
[A widow states:] “When my brother-in-law was a prisoner of war, they did not treat prisoners properly. They were afraid of what the prisoners may speak up one day about what they did to them. That’s the reason why many prisoners were killed[:] just to cover up the abuse.”
[An operations commander states:] “If I receive information that the enemy kills captured men from our camp, I will take revenge on every man [from their camp] I capture.”
[An employee of a non-governmental organization states:] “Soldiers reckon that they shall kill the prisoners of war. Since they have to take the prisoner wherever they go, he is an unnecessary burden. They are responsible for that person, thus to get rid of this responsibility, they kill him.” 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, pp. 200–201.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “[O]ffences related to violations of humanitarian law”, listed “[k]illing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer any means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 210.
Under the heading “Ethics of Debne warriors” [referring to inhabitants of the Dikhil region in Djibouti], the ministry also stated:
2. Do not kill an enemy who surrenders.
3. Never attack an adversary who carries a white flag. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 231.
Egypt
According to a statement by the Egyptian Minister of War in 1984 in the context of the conflict with Israel, persons are “really” hors de combat when they are incapacitated or unable to endanger the life of others. Furthermore, when an Israeli soldier raised his hands, “he was taken as a prisoner of war”. 
Egypt, Statement by the Minister of War, 1984, Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 2.1 and Answers to additional questions on Chapter 2.1.
India
Referring to India’s Army Act, the Report on the Practice of India states that any violation of the “duty not to attack someone who is incapable or unwilling to fight” may constitute “disgraceful conduct of a cruel, indecent or unnatural kind”. 
Report on the Practice of India, 1997, Chapter 2.1, referring to the Army Act, 1950, Section 46.
Iraq
The Report on the Practice of Iraq refers to a speech made by the Iraqi President in 1980 in which he called on the Iraqi armed forces to spare those incapacitated by wounds, sickness or unconsciousness. 
Iraq, Speech by the President of Iraq, 28 September 1980, Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Chapter 2.1.
Israel
The Report on the Practice of Israel comments:
It should nevertheless be understood that during combat operations, it is often impossible to ascertain exactly at which point an opposing soldier becomes incapacitated, as opposed to merely taking cover, hiding, or “playing dead” in order to open fire at a later stage. Therefore, the practical implementation of this rule requires the commanders in the field to make best-judgment decisions as to whether or not that person continues to pose a threat to friendly forces. 
Report on the Practice of Israel, 1997, Chapter 2.1.
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.
Rwanda
In 1993, an international commission of inquiry on human rights violations in Rwanda mandated by four NGOs reported the killing by the Rwandan Armed Forces of 150 combatants of the Front Patriotique Rwandais (FPR) after they had laid down their arms. 
International Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda, Rapport final de la Commission internationale d’enquête sur les violations des droits de l’homme au Rwanda depuis le 1er octobre 1990, in Rapport sur les droits de l’homme au Rwanda, octobre 1992–octobre 1993, Association rwandaise pour la défense des droits de la personne et des libertés publiques, Kigali, December 1993, p. 64.
According to the Report on the Practice of Rwanda, when the Rwandan Government reacted to the report in April 1993, it did not condemn or deplore these acts nor did it express any intention of bringing those responsible to justice. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Chapter 2.1.
Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
The leader … gave out the following instructions which were to be strictly followed:
8. The wounded of the enemy must not be finished off; you should rather leave them alone;
9. If certain men belonging to the enemy (specified by their names) are taken alive, they should not be killed but delivered to the commander. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 24.
The publication also described traditional Somali practice as follows: “If one of the two sides in a fight retreated in defeat, it was against the customary rules of war to pursue it any further.” 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 27.
The publication further described traditional Somali practice as follows:
Somali convention dictated that, during a war, one was to fight only those who could fight him back. Therefore, if, during a raid on a settlement, a sick man, who was bed-ridden with illness, was encountered, it was against the established custom to kill him or cause him harm in any other way, since the sick also belonged to the general category of weak and defenceless persons whose killing was strictly prohibited. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 33.
The publication also described traditional Somali practice as follows:
If a wounded warrior is finished off in the heat of the battle, while the fighting still raged on, and neither side had achieved victory, it would be regarded to be something normal and quite legitimate. … If, on the other hand, after the battle was over, a wounded man from the enemy was found on the battlefield, the traditional immunity code would require that he should not be killed … This is so because a wounded man would in this case be as helpless and as vulnerable as those belonging typically to the category of weak persons such as women, children, the elderly and the sick. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 43.
The publication further described traditional Somali practice as follows:
As in the case of wounded warriors falling into the hands of the enemy, it was rare for a man captured in battle to be spared when the two sides in a conflict were involved in all-out unreserved hostilities and were said to have a dhiig-mayr or “blood-bath” ensuing between them. However, when the fighting and mutual enmity had not reached such a desperate level, and each side wanted to achieve a clean victory over the other, the common practice was to spare anyone who was captured in battle, and release him immediately so he could go back to his own camp. His mere capture was enough cause for embarrassment to his kinsmen as it was the source of exultation and boastful pride to those who had captured, and then released, him. It was the general rule that a man who had been taken prisoner in the fighting and then released would never again take part in fighting against those who had given him his life. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 45.
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia referred to “Spared from the Spear” as its “own Geneva Conventions”:
In times of hostilities, the Biri-Ma-Geydo (Spared from the Spear), i.e. Somalia’s own “Geneva Conventions”[,] which existed long before the adoption of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, mitigated and regulated the conduct of clan hostilities and the treatment of immune groups. 
Somalia, Comments by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning the report of Somalia, submitted 21 September 2011, § 4.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1982, in reply to a question in the House of Commons, the UK Prime Minister stated that, following the sinking of an Argentine cruiser by a UK warship during the war in the South Atlantic, another UK warship returning to the area where the sinking had occurred was instructed not to attack warships engaged in rescuing the survivors. 
United Kingdom, Letter of the Prime Minister in reply to a question asked in the House of Commons on the subject of the Falkland Islands situation, 1982, BYIL, Vol. 55, 1984, p. 595, § 13.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
A training video on IHL produced by the UK Ministry of Defence illustrates the rule that “it is forbidden to kill or wound anyone who has laid down arms”. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Training Video: The Geneva Conventions, 1986, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, before the UK Parliamentary Defence Committee, the officer commanding the UK forces in the Gulf War confirmed that the rules of engagement were modified in order to minimize casualties when it was realized that the Iraqis were seeking to surrender (the initial rules of engagement were to destroy the enemy). The plan was adjusted to encourage surrender rather than resistance. 
United Kingdom, Minutes of Evidence taken before the Parliamentary Defence Committee, 8 May 1991, Defence Committee’s Tenth Report, 1991, § 86.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in reply to a written question in the House of Commons, the UK Secretary of State for Defence wrote:
The Coalition have dropped approximately 32 million–33 million leaflets aimed at Iraqi citizens, mainly combatants, but also civilians.
Those aimed at combatants include instructions on how to surrender, including adopting a non-offensive posture, raising a white flag, stowing weapons, and parking combat vehicles in a square formation.
In addition, the Coalition have used radio and loudspeaker broadcasts to convey specific surrender instructions to combatants. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 10 April 2003, Vol. 403, Written Answers, col. 351W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2010, in its closing submissions to the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Baha Mousa and the treatment of those detained with him by UK armed forces in Iraq in 2003, the UK Ministry of Defence stated:
12. The treaties setting out rules of IHL are supplemented by rules of customary international law (CIL), i.e. rules which are recognized as binding by States, even though they do not appear in treaty texts. … [I]n relation to the rules described below the Government accepts that they reflect CIL. It is suggested that the rules which are of most relevance to this inquiry are:
12.1. … A person hors de combat is: (a) anyone who is in the power of an adverse party; ... provided he or she abstains from any hostile act and does not attempt to escape.
12.2. … Thus, as persons in the power of UK forces the detainees all fell within the definition of persons hors de combat. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Closing Submissions to the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry on Modules 1–3, 25 June 2010, §§ 12(1)–(2), p. 28.
United States of America
In 1987, the Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Department of State affirmed that “we support the principle that all the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked … not be made the object of attacks”. 
United States, Remarks of Michael J. Matheson, Deputy Legal Adviser, US Department of State, The Sixth Annual American Red Cross-Washington College of Law Conference on International Humanitarian Law: A Workshop on Customary International Law and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, American University Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 2, 1987, p. 423.
United States of America
In 1991, in response to an ICRC memorandum on the applicability of IHL in the Gulf region, the United States pointed out that its practice was consistent with the prohibition to attack those who had surrendered, as well as defenceless combatants, such as the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. 
United States, Letter from the Department of the Army to the legal adviser of the US armed forces deployed in the Gulf region, 11 January 1991, § 8(J), Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.8.
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:
The law of war obligates a party to a conflict to accept the surrender of enemy personnel and thereafter treat them in accordance with the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims …
However, there is a gap in the law of war in defining precisely when surrender takes effect or how it may be accomplished in practical terms. Surrender involves an offer by the surrendering party (a unit or an individual soldier) and an ability to accept on the part of his opponent. The latter may not refuse an offer of surrender when communicated, but that communication must be made at a time when it can be received and properly acted upon – an attempt at surrender in the midst of a hard-fought battle is neither easily communicated nor received. The issue is one of reasonableness.
A combatant force involved in an armed conflict is not obliged to offer its opponent an opportunity to surrender before carrying out an attack … In the process [of military operations], Coalition forces continued to accept legitimate Iraqi offers of surrender in a manner consistent with the law of war. The large number of Iraqi prisoners of war is evidence of Coalition compliance with its law of war obligations with regard to surrendering forces. 
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. 641.
The report also referred to two incidents during the Gulf War in which there had been allegations that quarter had been denied. The first incident involved an armoured assault on an entrenched position where tanks equipped with earthmoving plough blades were used to breach the trench line and then turned to fill in the trenches and the bunkers. The Department of Defense defended this tactic as consistent with the law of war. It noted that:
In the course of the breaching operations, the Iraqi defenders were given the opportunity to surrender, as indicated by the large number of EPWs [enemy prisoners of war] taken by the division. However, soldiers must make their intent to surrender clear and unequivocal, and do so rapidly. Fighting from fortified emplacements is not a manifestation of an intent to surrender, and a soldier who fights until the very last possible moment assumes certain risks. His opponent either may not see his surrender, may not recognize his actions as an attempt to surrender in the heat and confusion of battle, or may find it difficult (if not impossible) to halt an onrushing assault to accept a soldier’s last-minute effort at surrender. 
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, pp. 642 and 643.
The second incident concerned the attack on Iraqi forces while they were retreating from Kuwait City. The Department of Defense again defended the attack as consistent with the law of war. It noted:
The law of war permits the attack of enemy combatants and enemy equipment at any time, wherever located, whether advancing, retreating or standing still. Retreat does not prevent further attack …
In the case at hand, neither the composition, degree of unit cohesiveness, nor intent of the Iraqi military forces engaged was known at the time of the attack. At no time did any element within the formation offer to surrender. CENTCOM [Central Command] was under no law of war obligation to offer the Iraqi forces an opportunity to surrender before the attack. 
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, pp. 643 and 644.
United States of America
The Report on US Practice states:
The opinio juris of the United States is that quarter must not be refused to an enemy who communicates an offer to surrender under circumstances permitting that offer to be understood and acted upon by U.S. forces. A combatant who appears merely incapable or unwilling to fight, e.g., because he has lost his weapon or is retreating from the battle, but who has not communicated an offer to surrender, is still subject to attack. (Persons hors de combat due to wounds, sickness or shipwreck must of course be respected in all circumstances, in accordance with the First and Second Geneva Conventions of 1949). 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.1.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Order No. 579 issued in 1991 by the Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia provides that YPA units shall “apply all means to prevent any … mistreatment of … persons who surrender or hoist the white flag in order to surrender”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Chief of General Staff of the YPA, Political Department, Order No. 579, 14 October 1991, § 2.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President regarding the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Security Council condemned “the killing or wounding of combatants who have laid down their weapons”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/26, 31 August 1998, p. 1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1980 in the context of the conflict in Kampuchea (Cambodia), the UN Commission on Human Rights urged the parties to “spare the lives of those enemy combatants who surrender or are captured”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 29 (XXXVI), 11 March 1980, § 5, voting record: 20-4-6.
UN Secretary-General
In 1970, in a report on respect for human rights in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General stated that the clarification of the rule prohibiting the killing or wounding of an enemy who surrenders should be made on the basis of the following principles:
a) It should be prohibited to kill or harm a combatant who has obviously laid down his arms or who has obviously no longer any weapons, without need for any expression of surrender on his part. Only such force as is strictly necessary in the circumstances to capture him should be applied.
b) In the case of a combatant who has still some weapons or whenever, as frequently happens, it cannot be ascertained whether he has weapons, an expression of surrender should be required. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on respect for human rights in armed conflict, UN Doc. A/8052, 18 September 1970, § 107.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Independent Expert)
In 1992, in a report on the situation of human rights in Guatemala, the Independent Expert of the UN Commission on Human Rights reported that military sources had announced the death of three persons during an armed confrontation. The Expert mentioned he had access to photographs showing that the victims were given a “coup de grâce”. He also referred to the case of a commander officially killed in an armed confrontation, but who, according to the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG), was captured alive. The Expert asked the authorities to respect his life and physical integrity. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala, Report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1993/10, 18 December 1992, §§ 65–66.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1993, in a report on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights noted, with reference to the territories occupied by Israel, that he had received a number of reports indicating that “Palestinians were killed by members of the Israeli military after they had come out of the attacked houses and at a time when they did not pose any threat to the lives of the soldiers, some of them even after they had surrendered without showing any resistance”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/7, 7 December 1993, § 381.
In the section of the same report relative to Turkey, the Special Rapporteur referred to a communication concerning eight security officers who were charged with the manslaughter of a group of people they were attempting to capture. The Rapporteur did not say if the people in question were civilians or alleged members of the armed opposition. However, in his conclusion, the Rapporteur listed Turkey as a country where there was a conflict and called for the application of IHL. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/7, 7 December 1993, §§ 595, 604, 610 and 706.
UN Observer Mission in El Salvador
In 1991, in a report on El Salvador, the Director of the Human Rights Division of ONUSAL described its investigation into a complaint brought by the Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) Command concerning a combatant wounded in an armed skirmish who had allegedly been killed by members of the Salvadoran armed forces. ONUSAL could not corroborate the facts but stated that the case concerned the situation of a person hors de combat who should “in all circumstances be treated humanely”. 
ONUSAL, Director of the Human Rights Division, Report, UN Doc. A/46/658-S/23222, 15 November 1991, Annex, p. 18, §§ 52–53.
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador
In 1993, the UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador examined, inter alia, a case concerning the killing of two soldiers wounded after a US helicopter was shot down by a Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) patrol. The survivors of the crash had been left on the scene, but shortly afterwards, a member of the patrol was sent back and killed the two wounded men. According to the report,
FMLN … began by denying that any wounded men had been executed … [Then,] it admitted that the wounded men had been executed and … announced that [the perpetrators] would be tried for the offence.
The Commission considers that there is sufficient proof that United States soldiers … who survived the shooting down of the helicopter … but were wounded and defenceless, were executed in violation of international humanitarian law …
FMLN acknowledged the criminal nature of the incident and detained and tried the accused. 
UN Commission on the Truth for El Salvador, Report, UN Doc. S/25500, 1 April 1993, pp. 167–169.
UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
In 1993 and 1994, the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories reported accounts of surrendered persons being fired at, as well as of a number of cases in which unarmed persons or those who had surrendered had been killed. 
UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, Twenty-fifth report, UN Doc. A/48/557, 1 November 1993, § 874; Twenty-sixth report, UN Doc. A/49/511, 18 October 1994, § 142.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In 1985, in an explanatory memorandum on a draft resolution on the situation in Afghanistan, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly noted that “captured combatants have been systematically put to death”. It referred to these incidents as “violations of human rights”. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Report on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Doc. 5495, 15 November 1985, Chapter II, §§ 16 and 17.
Southern African Development Community
In 1998, during a debate in the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, South Africa stated on behalf of SADC that the 1998 ICC Statute “would also serve as a reminder that even during armed conflict the rule of law must be upheld. For example, it was unlawful … for a combatant who had surrendered, having laid down his arms, to be killed or wounded … [This act] was a war crime and would be punished.” 
SADC, Statement by South Africa on behalf of the SADC before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.6/53/SR.9, 21 October 1998, § 13.
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims
The Final Declaration of the International Conference for the Protection of War Victims in 1993 stated that the participants refused to accept that the “wounded are shown no mercy”. 
International Conference for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva, 30 August–1 September 1993, Final Declaration, § I(1).
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the interlocutory appeal in the Tadić case in 1995, the ICTY Appeals Chamber referred to instructions given to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by the leader of the Chinese Communist Party not to “kill or humiliate any of Chiang Kai-Shek’s army officers and men who lay down their arms” as an illustration of the extension of some general principles of the laws of warfare to internal armed conflicts. 
ICTY, Tadić case, Interlocutory Appeal, 2 October 1995, § 102.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In 1982, in a communication received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it was alleged that Bolivian regiments
attacked Caracoles with guns, mortars, tanks and light warplanes. The miners defended themselves … most of the miners were killed. Some of the survivors fled to the hills and others fled to the houses in Villa Carmen. The soldiers pursued them and finished them off in their homes. They took others and tortured them and bayoneted many of them. They also cut the throats of the wounded.
The Commission pointed out to the Bolivian Government that these incidents constituted serious violations of the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights (right to life, right to humane treatment, right to personal liberty) and of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 7481 (Bolivia), Resolution, 8 March 1982, pp. 36–40.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In 1991, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported the case of the killing of two soldiers wounded after a US helicopter was shot down by a Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) patrol in El Salvador. According to information obtained by the Commission,
The pilot of the helicopter … was killed, while the other two occupants … survived but were seriously injured. While the FMLN group sent the people from the village for help, the two surviving servicemen were killed, summarily executed by an FMLN combatant. The FMLN has admitted to what happened and has said that those responsible have been charged with committing a war crime by violating the FMLN’s code of conduct and the Geneva Conventions. The FMLN has said that the trial of the accused will be open and independent observers will participate. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Annual Report 1990-1991, Doc. OEA/Ser.L/V/II.79.rev.1 Doc. 12, 22 February 1991, p. 442.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In 1997, in the case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concerning the events at La Tablada in Argentina, the perpetrators of the initial attack on the Argentine military barracks alleged that, after the fighting ceased, agents of the State participated in the summary executions and torture of some of the captured attackers. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, § 3.
In its report, the Commission stated that the violent clash between the attackers and the armed forces “triggered application of the provisions of Common Article 3 [of the 1949 Geneva Conventions], as well as other rules relevant to the conduct of internal hostilities”. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, § 156.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights emphasized that:
The persons who participated in the attack on the military base were legitimate military targets only for such time as they actively participated in the fighting. Those who surrendered, were captured or wounded and ceased their hostile acts, fell effectively within the power of Argentine state agents, who could no longer lawfully attack or subject them to other acts of violence. Instead, they were absolutely entitled to the non-derogable guarantees of humane treatment set forth in both Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and Article 5 of the [1969 American Convention on Human Rights]. The intentional mistreatment, much less summary execution, of such wounded or captured persons would be a particularly serious violation of both instruments. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, § 189.
[emphasis in original]
The Commission found that the Argentine State was responsible for violations of the right to life and of the right to physical integrity protected by Articles 4 and 5 of the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, §§ 244–247 and 379–380.
Furthermore, the perpetrators of the initial attack alleged, inter alia, that “the Argentine military deliberately ignored the attempt of the attackers to surrender”. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, § 182.
They added that “some parts of the barracks were reduced to rubble, without any acceptance of the attackers’ surrender or even any attempt to engage them in dialogue”. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, § 9.
The petitioners produced a videotape which depicted attempted surrender. The Commission considered that:
The tape is … notable for what it does not show. In fact, it does not identify the precise time or day of the putative surrender attempt. Nor does it show what was happening at the same time in other parts of the base where other attackers were located. If these persons, for whatever reasons, continued to fire or commit hostile acts, the Argentine military might not unreasonably have believed that the white flag was an attempt to deceive or divert them. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, § 184.
The Commission found that the evidence was incomplete and stated that it “must conclude that the killing or wounding of the attackers which occurred prior to the cessation of combat on January 24, 1989 were legitimately combat related and, thus, did not constitute violations of the [1969 American Convention on Human Rights] or applicable humanitarian law rules”. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.137 (Argentina), Report, 18 November 1997, §§ 185–188.
(emphasis in original)
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
A person who is recognized or who, in the circumstances, should be recognized as being no longer able to participate in combat, shall not be attacked (e.g. surrendering, wounded, … shipwrecked in water).
Any intention to surrender must be clearly expressed: raising one’s arms, throwing away one’s weapons, bearing a white flag, etc.
Combatants who are captured (with or without surrender) are prisoners of war and shall no longer be attacked …
Treatment as prisoner of war applies only to captured combatants who then abstain from any hostile act and do not attempt to escape. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 487, 488 and 496.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1979 with respect to the conflict in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, the ICRC appealed to all the parties to “spare the lives of those who surrender”. It also specifically requested that the Patriotic Front “cease the killing of captured enemy combatants”. 
ICRC, Conflict in Southern Africa: ICRC appeal, 19 March 1979, §§ 5 and 7, IRRC, No. 209, 1979, pp. 88–89.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1983 concerning the Iran–Iraq War, the ICRC pointed to grave violations of IHL committed by both countries, including “summary execution of captive soldiers”. 
ICRC, Conflict between Iraq and Iran: ICRC Appeal, IRRC, No. 235, 1983, p. 221.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1991, the ICRC enjoined the parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia “to spare the lives of those who surrender”. 
ICRC, Appeal in behalf of civilians in Yugoslavia, Geneva, 4 October 1991.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC urged the parties to the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina “to spare the lives of those who surrender”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1705, Bosnia and Herzegovina: ICRC calls for protection of civilians, 10 April 1992.
ICRC
On several occasions in 1992, the ICRC enjoined the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to spare the lives of those who surrendered.  
ICRC, Press Release No. 1712, Afghanistan: ICRC appeals for compliance with humanitarian rules, 5 May 1992; Press Release No. 1724, Kabul: ICRC urges respect for civilians as medical facilities struggle to cope, 20 July 1992; Press Release No. 1726, Afghanistan: New ICRC appeal for compliance with humanitarian rules, 14 August 1992.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1992, the ICRC urged all the parties involved in the conflict in Tajikistan “to spare the lives of people who surrender”. 
ICRC, Press Release, Tajikistan: ICRC urges respect for humanitarian rules, ICRC Dushanbe, 23 November 1992.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated:
Captured combatants and persons who have laid down their arms no longer represent any danger and must be respected; they shall be handed over to the immediate hierarchical superior; killing such persons constitutes a crime and is absolutely forbidden. 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § I, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 503.
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: Combatants and other persons who are captured, and those who have laid down their arms … shall be handed over to their immediate military superior and shall not, in particular, be killed or ill-treated.” 
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. 1308.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1994 regarding the situation in Bihać (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the ICRC recalled that “the lives of all people who surrendered must be spared”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1792, Bihac: urgent appeal, 26 November 1994.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1994, the ICRC urged the parties involved in the conflict in Chechnya “to spare the lives of people who surrender”. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1793, Chechnya: ICRC urges respect for humanitarian rules, 28 November 1994.
ICRC
In a communication to the press issued in 2000 in the context of the conflict in Colombia, the ICRC condemned two separate incidents in which “wounded combatants being evacuated by its delegates were seized and summarily executed by men belonging to enemy forces. These acts … constitute grave breaches of international humanitarian law.” 
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 in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan, the ICRC stated: “A fighter who clearly indicates his intention to surrender to an enemy is no longer a legitimate target and is entitled to the protection afforded him by the law.” 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 01/58, Afghanistan: ICRC calls on all parties to comply with international humanitarian law, 23 November 2001.
Bothe, Partsch and Solf
In their commentary on the 1977 Additional Protocols, Bothe, Partsch and Solf state: “Under customary rules, protection from attack begins when the individual has ceased to fight, when his unit has surrendered, or when he is no longer capable of resistance either because he has been overpowered or is weaponless.” 
Michael Bothe, Karl Joseph Partsch, Waldemar A. Solf (eds.), New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1982, pp. 219–220, citing William E. S. Flory, Prisoners of War: A Study in the Development of International Law, American Council of Public Affairs, Washington, 1942, p. 39.
Americas Watch
In 1985, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Nicaragua, Americas Watch stated: “The following … are prohibited by applicable international law rules: … Attacks against combatants who are captured [or] surrender.” 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 33.
The report mentioned a number of instances in which the contras executed combatants who had surrendered. Some witnesses confirmed that members of the militia who had resisted attacks by the contras and then surrendered were not hurt, but others described murders of military prisoners who had been captured unarmed. 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 42.
Americas Watch further found that “in combination, the contra forces have systematically violated the applicable laws of war throughout the conflict. They … have murdered those placed hors de combat by their wounds.” 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 6.
The report noted:
The insurgents have only rarely taken prisoners in combat. They claim to disarm and release them on the spot. In regard to the FDN [one of the contra groups], however, credible testimony indicates that, at least on some occasions, their forces have actually ‘finished off’ wounded opponents. 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 41.
Representatives of the insurgent organizations claimed that governmental forces also executed the wounded on the spot, but according to the report, these claims could not be substantiated. However, the report mentioned instances of abuse of prisoners. 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, pp. 56 and 57.
The conflict was regarded as non-international and it was considered that the parties were “bound to abide by the provisions of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and by customary international law rules applicable to internal armed conflicts”. 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 4.
Americas Watch
In 1986, in a report on human rights in Nicaragua, Americas Watch stressed: “In several years of armed struggle, neither the FDN [one of the contra groups] nor its predecessor organizations took prisoners. A recently published book explicitly describes the FDN practice of murdering enemy soldiers placed hors de combat.” 
Americas Watch, Human Rights in Nicaragua: 1985–1986, New York, March 1986, p. 102.
The report also noted abuses by the governmental forces, including killings, disappearances and mistreatment of prisoners, apparently aimed at individuals suspected of aiding the contras. The report stated that, “in addition to violating other human rights norms, they constitute violations of the laws of war”. 
Americas Watch, Human Rights in Nicaragua: 1985–1986, New York, March 1986, p. 67.
Africa Watch
In 1989, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Angola, Africa Watch stated: “Applicable international law rules prohibit … [a]ttacks against combatants who are captured [or] surrender”. 
Africa Watch, Angola: Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides, New York, April 1989, p. 141.
Rwandan Press Agency
In 1990, an extract from a document from the Rwandan Press Agency mentioned that Ugandan journalists were permitted to visit prisoners of war in Kigali, evidencing the fact that, in some cases, members of the Rwandan Armed Forces did give quarter to those who surrendered. The journalists reported that many of the 17 prisoners were young, since they were the ones most likely to surrender when confronted by the Rwandan Armed Forces. 
Agence Rwandaise de Presse, Bulletin No. 003847, 1 December 1990, pp. 1–2.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
In a resolution adopted in 1991, the Politico-Military High Command of the SPLM/A stated that “whenever an enemy soldier is disarmed or unarmed, his or her life will be spared, protected and respected as a prisoner of war (POW) under the Geneva Conventions”. 
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army, PMHC Resolution No. 15: Human Rights and Civil Liberties, 11 September 1991, § 15.3, Report on SPLM/A Practice, 1998, Chapter 2.1.