Practice Relating to Rule 67. Inviolability of Parlementaires

Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 32 of the 1899 Hague Regulations provides that a parlementaire “has a right to inviolability, as well as the trumpeter, bugler, or drummer, the flag-bearer and the interpreter who may accompany him”. 
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 32.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 32 of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides that a parlementaire “has the right to inviolability, as well as the trumpeter, bugler or drummer, the flag-bearer and the interpreter who may accompany him”. 
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 32.
Brussels Declaration
Article 43 of the 1874 Brussels Declaration provides that a parlementaire “shall have a right to inviolability, as well as the trumpeter (bugler or drummer) and the flag-bearer who accompany him”. 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874, Article 43.
Oxford Manual
Articles 27 and 28 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provide that a parlementaire “has the right to inviolability … He may be accompanied by a bugler or a drummer, by a colour-bearer, and, if need be, by a guide and interpreter, who also are entitled to inviolability.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Articles 27 and 28.
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 45 of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War provides: “Ships called cartel ships, which act as bearers of a flag of truce, may not be seized while fulfilling their mission, even if they belong to the navy.” 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 45.
Article 65 of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War deals with parlementaires and states: “The personnel of cartel ships is inviolable.” 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 65.
San Remo Manual
Paragraphs 47 and 48 of the 1994 San Remo Manual provide that cartel vessels “are exempt from attack”, but “only if they (a) are innocently employed in their normal role; (b) submit to identification and inspection when required; and (c) do not intentionally hamper the movement of combatants and obey orders to stop or move out of the way when required”. 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, §§ 47 and 48.
According to Paragraphs 136 and 137 of the 1994 San Remo Manual, cartel vessels are also “exempt from capture”, under the same conditions as for the exemption from attack, provided that, in addition, they “do not commit acts harmful to the enemy”. 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, §§ 136 and 137.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides that a parlementaire “has the right to inviolability, like the bugler, trumpeter, drummer, colour bearer and the interpreter accompanying him”. 
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, § 6.001.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides: “The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … firing upon flags of truce.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 1305(q); see also § 840 (protection of cartel ships).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “The following examples constitute grave breaches or serious war crimes likely to warrant institution of criminal proceedings: … firing upon flags of truce.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1315(q); see also § 644 (protection of cartel ships).
The manual also provides: “An adversary displaying a white flag should be permitted the opportunity … to communicate a request for cease-fire or negotiation.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 910.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states: “An adversary displaying a white flag should be permitted the opportunity … to communicate a request for cease-fire or negotiation.” 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 9.10; see also §§ 6.44–6.45 and 8.49.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “The parlementaire whose conduct is correct has the right to absolute inviolability. This applies also to those accompanying him (trumpeter, bugler or drummer, colour bearer, interpreter, driver).” 
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. 40.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers (1994) states: “The person of the parlementaire is inviolable.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Manuel d’Instruction pour Officiers, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 1994, Part I, Title II, p. 25.
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s Disciplinary Regulations (1994) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to attack or retain prisoner a parlementaire displaying the white flag”. 
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 bearers of the white flag or all [other] persons tasked with entering into contact with the adversary must be respected.” 
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. 38; see also Part I, p. 11, Part I bis, pp. 4, 22 and 26.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, a “parlementaire enjoys an absolute immunity and it is prohibited to attack him or retain him prisoner”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 30.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states:
Article 30: Definition
Any person who advances without weapons and displaying the white flag shall be considered a parlementaire; he enjoys an absolute immunity and it is prohibited to attack him or retain him prisoner. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 30.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
A parlementaire may be accompanied by other personnel agreed upon by the commanders involved …
The adverse party does not have to cease combat. The belligerent may not fire upon the parlementaire, white flag or party. The parlementaire and those who are in his or her party are entitled to complete inviolability, so long as they do nothing to abuse this protection, or to take advantage of their protected position. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 14-1, §§ 4 and 5.
Furthermore, the manual stresses: “During the withdrawal and return to the parlementaire’s own lines, the parlementaire continues to enjoy inviolability and may not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 14-1, § 9.
The manual notes: “To fire intentionally upon the white flag carried by a parlementaire is a war crime.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 14-1, § 6.
The manual also states: “The following vessels of an adverse party shall not be attacked: … vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between parties to the conflict (e.g. vessels carrying PWs [prisoners of war] …).” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-9, § 94(c); see also pp. 7-6 and 7-7, § 60(c) (air warfare) and p. 8-6, § 41(c) (naval warfare).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Communications and contact between opposing forces”:
2. Parlementaires normally operate under a white flag of truce. A parlementaire may be accompanied by other personnel agreed upon by the commanders involved …
3. There is no obligation upon the adverse party to receive a parlementaire. The adverse party does not have to cease combat. The belligerent may not fire upon the parlementaire, white flag or party. The parlementaire and those who are in his or her party are entitled to complete inviolability, so long as they do nothing to abuse this protection, or to take advantage of their protected position.
4. To fire intentionally upon the white flag carried by a parlementaire is a war crime.
7. After making contact with the adverse party, the parlementaire must obey any orders that a party provides regarding the entry of that party’s lines, and must withdraw if so instructed. During the withdrawal and return to the parlementaire’s own lines, the parlementaire continues to enjoy inviolability and may not be attacked. When ordered to withdraw, the parlementaire must be given a reasonable time in which to do so. Failure to withdraw results in loss of protection and the parlementaire may then be fired upon. If the parlementaire remains within enemy lines after being ordered to withdraw, he loses his inviolability and may be made a PW [prisoner of war]. Detention may occur if the parlementaire has abused the position of parlementaire, for example, by collecting information covertly. It is not an abuse of the position for the parlementaire, however, to report on observations made.
8. Only the parlementaire and an interpreter are entitled to enter enemy lines. The other members of the party must obey orders given by the adverse party. They remain entitled to protection until the parlementaire rejoins them and they return to their own lines …
9. … Any measure that may be taken against the parlementaire or attending members of the party must be reported to the sending belligerent without delay. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1402.2–4 and 7–9.
In its chapter on targeting, the manual further states: “The following vessels of an adverse party shall not be attacked: … vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between parties to the conflict (e.g., vessels carrying PWs or humanitarian supplies)”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 449.1.c.
Similarly, in its chapter on air warfare, the manual states: “The following enemy vessels are protected and may not be attacked: … vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties (for example, vessels transporting PWs or engaged in humanitarian missions)”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 720.1.c.
Similarly, in its chapter on naval warfare, the manual states: “The following enemy vessels are protected and may not be attacked: … vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties (e.g., vessels transporting PWs or engaged in humanitarian missions)”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 828.1.c.
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.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Disciplinary Regulations (2009) states: “During combat, it is also prohibited for servicemen to … attack or detain a parlementaire displaying the white flag”. 
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) states: “Show respect for people … bearing … the white flag of truce”. 
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 p. 47.
Congo
The Congo’s Disciplinary Regulations (1986) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to attack or retain prisoner a parlementaire displaying the white flag”. 
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):
Lesson 1. Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what must be protected?
- a person displaying the white flag of truce,
Lesson 2. Identification
II.2 Persons and objects under special protection
- a person displaying the white flag of truce,
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 11]:
Respect persons and objects bearing
- the white flag of truce.
[Observation]:
These persons and objects benefit from a special protection according to the Geneva Conventions. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13–15, 17, 19 and 21–22; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 16; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 39; 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. 66.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
Chapter 3. Identification
III.4. The white flag (or flag of truce)
The white flag is a customary element of war, and remains widely in use until this day. The white flag is used to indicate the intention to negotiate and to protect the persons who negotiate … Those using the white flag must not be subjected to any attack during the negotiations.
Chapter 4. Behaviour in action
II.4. The white flag (the flag of truce)
We have already spoken of this element of customary law; let us now see how it can be used during operations.
… The party which uses the white flag must cease firing. As soon as it has done so, the other side must do the same … A surrender is generally accepted and the enemy is treated consequently, but there is no obligation to receive a delegation of parlementaires. If a discussion with parlementaires is accepted, the members of the delegation must be protected as long as the negotiation procedures last. After the negotiations, they must be allowed to return safely to their own lines. 
Côte d’Ivoire, 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, pp. 27, 33–34, 39 and 42–43; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 32–33; 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. 33.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Disciplinary Regulations (1982) states: “It is prohibited for combatants to … attack parlementaires or take them prisoner”. 
Djibouti, Décret no. 82-028/PR/DEF du 5 mai 1982 portant règlement de la discipline générale dans les Forces armées, Article 30(3).
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “Enemy forces displaying a white flag should be permitted an opportunity … to communicate a request for cease-fire or negotiation.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 11.10.4.
It also states: “The following acts constitute war crimes: … firing on flags of truce.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 6.2.5(11); see also § 8.2.3 (protection of cartel ships).
France
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, provides that, under international conventions, it is prohibited “to attack or retain prisoner a parlementaire displaying the white flag”. 
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 Manual (2001) emphasizes that the law of armed conflict provides “special protection” for parlementaires. 
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. 95.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Parlementaires and the persons accompanying them, e.g. drivers and interpreters, have a right to inviolability …
When entering the territory of the adversary, parlementaires and the persons accompanying them shall not be taken prisoner or detained. The principle of inviolability shall apply until they have safely returned to friendly territory. It does not require the adverse party to completely cease fire in a sector where a parlementaire arrives. 
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, §§ 223 and 224; see also § 1034 (protection of cartel ships).
Greece
The Hellenic Territorial Army’s Internal Service Code (1984), as amended, provides: “It is forbidden for members of the armed forces: … To shoot or hold as captive an enemy envoy who waves the white flag.” 
Greece, Hellenic Territorial Army Regulation of Internal Service Code, Presidential Decree 130/1984 (Military Regulation 20-1), as amended, Article 15(g).
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010), under the heading “Distinctive signs” and in a section on “Flag of parlementaires …”, shows an image of a white flag and states: “Respect those bearing … these signs.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 11.
Guinea
Guinea’s Disciplinary Regulations (2012) states: “Military personnel in combat are prohibited from … attacking or retaining prisoner a parlementaire, who bears the national flag of the enemy as well as distinctive emblems of international conventions”. 
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).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides that a person who “intends to receive a parlementaire must suspend fire locally, for the time necessary for communication and for the return of the parlementaire and the persons accompanying him to their own lines”. 
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, § 56.
The manual further states:
The parlementaire recognized as such, the persons accompanying him and the related means of transportation (on land, in the air or at sea) are inviolable for the whole time necessary to the accomplishment of their mission. 
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, § 53.
The manual mentions the flag bearer, bugler, drummer and interpreter as the persons who may accompany a parlementaire. 
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, § 51.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) states:
Parlementaires, i.e. those who request to meet with the Commanding Officer of the enemy unit to discuss a ceasefire or to surrender, are protected by the “White flag”.
IT IS PROHIBITED to deceive the enemy by raising a white flag and then opening fire.
IT IS PROHIBITED to carry out any act of violence against Parlementaires and their escort, unless they carry out a hostile act first. 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 247.
[emphasis in original]
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “Bearers of a white flag of truce must be respected.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15.
The manual adds: “The flag may not be attacked and, on completion of [a flag party’s] mission, must be allowed to return to its own lines.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 4.
Mali
Mali’s Army Regulations (1979) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to attack or retain prisoner a parlementaire displaying the white flag”. 
Mali, Règlement du Service dans l’Armée, 1ère Partie: Discipline Générale, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, 1979, Article 36.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states: “Respect all persons and objects bearing … the white flag … unless you receive orders to the contrary.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(h).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
A parlementaire has the right to inviolability … [The white flag] indicates that the party who displays the flag wants to negotiate. This party must cease fire. The other party has no obligation to cease fire. However, the parlementaire and any person who may accompany him (e.g. an interpreter) may not be fired upon. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-4.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands states: “The party which displays the [white] flag has to cease fire. The other party does not have to do so. But, the parlementaire and the soldiers who accompany him (for example an interpreter) may not be attacked.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-40; see also p. 7-36.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
The white flag indicates that the party flying the flag wishes to parley. This party must cease firing. The bearer of the white flag, and those accompanying this person, have a right to physical inviolability. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0418.
The manual further states: “The parlementaire has a right to inviolability, as long as he does not misuse his protection. This inviolability means that he may not be attacked or taken prisoner.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0419.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “A parlementaire and accompanying trumpeter, bugler, (or drummer), flag bearer and interpreter are all protected in the case of an authorised communication made under the protection of a white flag.” 
New Zealand, Military Manual (1992), Annex B, § B45; see also §§ 638 and 718 (protection of cartel ships).
The manual specifies:
The belligerent to whom a parlementaire is being despatched does not have to cease combat, although he may not fire upon the parlementaire, his flag or those with him. Since the adverse Party may continue combat, the parlementaire should cross during a lull in the fighting or should seek some other moment for making his journey, or travel by a route that reduces any risk to himself or those with him. The parlementaire and those with him are entitled to complete inviolability, so long as they do nothing to abuse this protection or to take advantage of their protected position …
To fire intentionally upon the white flag carried by a parlementaire is a war crime … No offence is committed if the parlementaire or those with him are injured accidentally, or even if the white flag he carries is fired upon inadvertently …
During the period that the parlementaire is conducting his negotiations the conflict continues and both sides are entitled to reinforce or take such other combat actions as they consider necessary … During his withdrawal and return to his own lines, the parlementaire continues to enjoy inviolability and may not be attacked. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 406(3), (4) and (6); see also Annex B, §§ B44 and B45.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides:
The parlementaire must carry a white flag while advancing towards the enemy lines thus he and his party will have the privilege of immunity. Nevertheless, in order to prevent unnecessary dangers, the parlementaire should choose a safe and convenient route of approach to the enemy. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 24.
The manual also states that “firing on a white flag” is a war crime. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 6.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) includes “parlementaires” amongst those listed in its definition of the term “Protected Persons”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, Chapter 9, Glossary of Terms.
The manual also defines the terms “cartel aircraft” and “cartel ship”:
Cartel aircraft: An aircraft used by a parlementaire sent to parley with the enemy. A cartel aircraft enjoys the same conditional immunity as the parlementaire.
Cartel ship: A ship used by a parlementaire on a mission to the enemy. The cartel ship has the same immunity as the parlementaire. It may also be used to transport prisoners of war and wounded to be exchanged with those of the enemy. The ship must bear the appropriate distinctive sign and its route must be known. It may not be armed and may not be attacked or captured during the outward or return voyage. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, Chapter 9, Glossary of Terms.
The manual further states:
The following classes of enemy vessels are exempt from attack:
(3) vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties including:
(a) cartel vessels, e.g. vessels designated for and engaged in the transport of prisoners of war. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 129.a.(3).(a).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) includes “parlementaires” amongst those listed in its definition of the term “Protected Persons”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 411.
In its Glossary of Terms, the manual also states: “Immunity. Principle of the law of armed conflict that confers special protection on the parlementaire”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, pp. 392 and 396.
Also in its Glossary of Terms, the manual provides the following definitions for “cartel aircraft” and “cartel ship”:
Cartel aircraft: An aircraft used by a parlementaire sent to parley with the enemy. A cartel aircraft enjoys the same conditional immunity as the parlementaire.
Cartel ship: A ship used by a parlementaire on a mission to the enemy. The cartel ship has the same immunity as the parlementaire. It may also be used to transport prisoners of war and wounded to be exchanged with those of the enemy. The ship must bear the appropriate distinctive sign and its route must be known. It may not be armed and may not be attacked or captured during the outward or return voyage. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 407.
The manual further states:
The following classes of enemy vessels may not be attacked:
(3) vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties including:
(a) cartel vessels, e.g. vessels designated for and engaged in the transport of prisoners of war. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 120(3)(a), p. 310.
Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines includes the following order: “Respect all persons and objects bearing … the white flag of truce.” 
Philippines, Soldier’s Rules, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(I), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 10.
Philippines
The Joint Circular on Adherence to IHL and Human Rights (1991) of the Philippines provides: “Members of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and PNP [Philippine National Police] shall respect all persons and objects bearing … the White Flag of Truce.” 
Philippines, Implementation Guidelines for Presidential Memorandum Order No. 393, dated 9 September 1991, Directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police to Reaffirm their Adherence to the Principles of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Conduct of Security/Police Operations, Joint Circular Number 2-91, Department of National Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, 1991, § 2a(5).
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Military Regulation 187 (1991) provides that firing on the white flag is a war crime. 
Republic of Korea, Military Regulation 187, 1 January 1991, Article 4.2.
Russian Federation
Under the Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990), it is a prohibited method of warfare “to kill parlementaires and persons accompanying them”. 
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(d).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
[P]arlementaires are persons authorized by their command to enter into communication with the enemy command and coming with a white flag. The parlementaire as well as persons who may accompany him (the trumpeter, bugler or drummer, the flag-bearer and the interpreter) have a right to inviolability. 
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, § 1; see also § 7 (prohibited methods of warfare) and § 67 (armistice and termination of combat operations).
Senegal
Senegal’s Disciplinary Regulations (1990) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to attack or retain prisoner a parlementaire displaying the white flag”. 
Senegal, Règlement de Discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret 90-1159, 12 October 1990, Article 34(2).
South Africa
Under South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996), “firing on … a flag of truce” is qualified as a “grave breach” 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, §§ 39(e) and 41.
Spain
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) states: “The person of the parlementaire is inviolable.” It adds that in a combat situation, fire must not be stopped when a parlementaire approaches, until superior orders have been given to do so. 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, §§ 902 and 904.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides:
Parlementaires and persons accompanying them are inviolable. When entering an area controlled by the adverse party, the parlementaires and those accompanying them must not be taken prisoner or detained … and they must adopt appropriate measures for their return to take place in secure conditions. The presence of parlementaires and the beginning of negotiations is not in itself a sufficient reason to alter the course of operations. 
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, § 2.6.c.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
Parlementaires and those who accompany them are inviolable. When a flag party enters the area controlled by the adverse party, it cannot be taken prisoner or detained. They must be treated according to the rules of military etiquette, and the necessary measures must be taken to ensure their safe return. The presence of a flag party and the start of negotiations do not necessarily constitute a reason to alter the course of operations in progress. 
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, § 2.6.c.(1); see also § 5.2.a.(1).(b).
The manual also states: “Respect all persons … bearing … the white flag of truce”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 10.3.e.(1).
The manual further states with respect to parlementaires: “Flag parties, including drivers and interpreters, are inviolable, except if it is proved in a clear and incontestable manner that they have taken advantage of their privileged position to commit an act that is harmful to the adverse party.” 
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, § 7.5.c.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Manual (1984) provides: “The parlementaire (negotiator) and his escort with the white flag shall not be attacked.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre, Manuel 51.7/III dfi, Armée suisse, 1984, p. 18.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) stipulates that the parlementaire “has the right to inviolability, as well as the persons accompanying him (interpreter, driver, pilot)”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 13.
The manual further states that “mistreating, insulting or retaining unlawfully an enemy parlementaire” is a war crime. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 200(2)(h).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states:
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 Organisation of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Chart of Protective Signs.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
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.
17 Sanctions for violations of the international law of armed conflict
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … offences against parlementaires[.] 
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, §§ 186 and 237.
The Regulation also states that, in application of the principle of distinction, a “parlementaire [who] approaches with a white flag” must not be shot at, explaining: “Protected person, until he has returned to his own troops, except if he commits a harmful act”. 
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, § 172.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
1.2.37. “Parlementaires” means persons designated by the military command to negotiate with the enemy command.
The parlementaire and accompanying persons (windjammer-drummer, bearer of a flag of truce) shall be inviolable.
The parlementaire’s distinctive sign shall be a white flag of truce.
The parlementaire shall not be held captive, he shall be allowed to return to his forces.
1.3.2. The following methods of warfare shall be prohibited:
- killing of a parlementaire or accompanying persons. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.2.37 and 1.3.2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides: “Whilst performing their duties, and provided that their conduct is correct, [parlementaires] are entitled to complete inviolability.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 391; see also § 498 (protection of cartel ships).
The manual stresses:
When a white flag is hoisted the other side need not necessarily cease fire.
Fire must not be directed intentionally on the person carrying the white flag or on persons near him. If, however, the persons near a flag of truce which is exhibited during an engagement are unintentionally killed or wounded, no breach of the law of war is committed. It is for the parlementaire to wait until there is a propitious moment, or to make a detour to avoid a dangerous zone. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, §§ 395 and 396.
The manual further states: “In addition to the ‘grave breaches’ of the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … the following are examples of punishable violations of the laws of war, or war crimes: … firing on a flag of truce.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 626(d).
Furthermore, the manual states: “The parlementaire should be permitted to retire and return with the same formalities and precautions as on his arrival.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 411.
The manual also states:
The number of persons who may accompany the parlementaire to the enemy’s line, unless special authorisation for additional ones is given, is limited to three; a trumpeter, bugler, or drummer, a flagbearer, and an interpreter. These are entitled to the same inviolability as the envoy himself.
In modern warfare the parlementaire will presumably be an officer in an armoured vehicle flying a white flag, accompanied by his driver, wireless and loudspeaker operator, and interpreter. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 400, including footnote 2.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states:
The white flag, or flag of truce, indicates no more than an intention to enter into negotiations with the enemy … The party showing the white flag must stop firing and if so the other party must do likewise … The flag party may not be attacked and on completion of its mission must be allowed to return to its own lines. The [1907 Hague Regulations] provide for the flag party to consist of the envoy, flag bearer, interpreter and trumpeter, bugler or drummer. In modern warfare the latter may be replaced by a radio operator and the flag party may well travel in a vehicle flying the white flag. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 16, § 10.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
10.4. … Whilst performing their duties and provided that their conduct is correct, parlementaires and those who accompany them are entitled to complete inviolability. This means that they may not be attacked or taken prisoners of war and must be allowed to rejoin their own forces at the end of their mission. Inviolability of the parlementaire does not mean that all hostile activities of the opposing forces have to cease. They must cease to the extent necessary to ensure the safety of those involved in the negotiations.
Vehicles and aircraft
10.12. Vehicles and aircraft used by parlementaires have the same protection and may not be seized. These provisions extend also to naval vessels, known as cartel ships. The personnel of such ships have the same rights and obligations as parlementaires. Cartel ships may also be used for the exchange of prisoners of war. Such vehicles and vessels may display the white flag; aircraft carrying parlementaires may be painted white. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 10.4 and 10.12.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) states:
[A parlementaire] has the right to inviolability, as well as the trumpeter, bugler or drummer, the flag-bearer and the interpreter who may accompany him.
Fire should not be intentionally directed on parlementaires or those accompanying them. If, however, the parlementaires or those near them present themselves during an engagement and are killed or wounded, it furnishes no ground for complaint. It is the duty of the parlementaire to select a propitious moment for displaying his flag, such as during the intervals of active operations, and to avoid the dangerous zones by making a detour. 
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, §§ 460 and 461.
The manual further states: “In addition to the ‘grave breaches’ of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of violations of the law of war (‘war crimes’): … firing on the flag of truce.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 504(e).
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: … deliberate firing on … the flag of truce.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 15-3c(3).
United States of America
The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) states: “In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the following acts are further examples of war crimes: … firing on the flag of truce”. 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, p. 13.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) stipulates: “Enemy forces displaying a white flag should be permitted an opportunity … to communicate a request for cease-fire or negotiation.” 
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), § 11.9.5.
The Handbook adds: “The following acts are representative war crimes: … firing on flags of truce.” 
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(11); see also § 8.2.3 (protection of cartel ships).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Enemy forces displaying a white flag should be permitted an opportunity to … communicate a request for cease-fire or negotiation.” 
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, § 8.5.1.5.
The Handbook further states that “firing on flags of truce” is an example of an act that could be considered a war crime. 
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.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides: “The party that receives a parlementaire does not need to cease fire in the direction of the parlementaire’s arrival, but must not fire on the parlementaire and his escort.” 
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, § 124.
The manual adds: “A parlementaire and the persons in his escort are entitled to total inviolability. During the execution of the duty of parlementaire, they cannot be kept as prisoners of war.” 
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, § 129.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993), under the heading “Distinctive signs” and in a section on “Flag of truce”, displays an image of a white flag and states: “Respect those bearing … such signs.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 12.
Argentina
Argentina’s Code of Military Justice (1951), as amended in 1984, punishes “anyone who offends a parlementaire in words or in deeds”. 
Argentina, Code of Military Justice, 1951, as amended in 1984, Article 746.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), whoever “insults, maltreats or detains the bearer of the flag of truce or his/her escort, or prevents them from returning, or in any other way violates their privilege of inviolability” commits a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 161.
The Republika Srpska’s Criminal Code (2000) contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Article 440.
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 insults, maltreats or detains the bearer of the flag of truce or his escort, or prevents them from returning, or in any other way violates their privilege of inviolability,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of between six months and five years. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 177(1) and (2).
Chile
Chile’s Code of Military Justice (1925) punishes anyone “who, without any provocation, offends a parlementaire in words or in deeds”. 
Chile, Code of Military Justice, 1925, Article 261(4).
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), whoever “insults, maltreats or restrains an intermediary or his escort or prevents their return or in some other way infringes their inviolability” commits a war crime. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 164.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Code of Military Justice (1953) punishes any soldier “who offends a parlementaire in words or in deeds”. 
Dominican Republic, Code of Military Justice, 1953, Article 201(3).
Ecuador
Ecuador’s National Civil Police Penal Code (1960) punishes any member of the National Civil Police “who attacks parlementaires or seriously offends parlementaires”. 
Ecuador, National Civil Police Penal Code, 1960, Article 117(7).
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Code of Military Justice (1934) punishes any “soldier who, in time of war, … offends a parlementaire in words or in deeds”. 
El Salvador, Code of Military Justice, 1934, Article 69(4).
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “a person who kills, tortures or causes health damage to … a parlementaire or a person accompanying such person” commits a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 102.
Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957) punishes “whosoever maltreats, threatens, insults or unjustifiably detains an enemy bearing a flag of truce, or an enemy negotiator, or any person accompanying him”. 
Ethiopia, Penal Code, 1957, Article 295.
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Article 283.- Hostile Acts against the Bearer of a Flag of Truce.
Whoever maltreats, threatens, insults or unjustifiably detains an enemy bearing a flag of truce, or an enemy negotiator, or any person accompanying him,
is punishable with simple imprisonment. 
Ethiopia, Criminal Code, 2004, Article 283.
The Criminal Code of 2004 repealed Ethiopia’s Penal Code of 1957.
Hungary
Under Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, “the person who insults, illegally restrains the parlementaire of the enemy or his companion, or otherwise applies violence against him” is guilty, upon conviction, of a war crime. 
Hungary, Criminal Code, 1978, as amended in 1998, Section 163(1).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides that the person who “receives a parlementaire must suspend fire locally, during the communication, and give the parlementaire and all persons accompanying him the time necessary to return to their own lines”. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 69.
The Decree further states: “The parlementaire, as well as the bugler or drummer, the flag bearer and the interpreter accompanying him, are inviolable for the whole time necessary to the accomplishment of their mission.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 67.
Mexico
Under Mexico’s Penal Code (1931), as amended to 2000, “the violation of the immunity of a parlementaire or the immunity granted under a safe-conduct” is a punishable offence. 
Mexico, Penal Code, 1931, as amended to 2000, Article 148(III).
Mexico
Mexico’s Code of Military Justice (1933), as amended in 1996, punishes “anyone who offends in words or in deeds the parlementaire of an enemy”. 
Mexico, Code of Military Justice, 1933, as amended in 1996, Article 214.
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Penal Code (1996) punishes any soldier who “offends in words or in deeds or unlawfully retains a parlementaire, or the bugler, trumpeter, drummer, flag-bearer or interpreter accompanying him”. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Code, 1996, Article 50(2).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military Justice (1980) provides that it is a punishable offence for a soldier “to offend a parlementaire in words or in deeds” in time of war. 
Peru, Code of Military Justice, 1980, Article 95(7).
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states:
Whoever in violation of international law in time of war or armed conflict abuses, mistreats or detains a bearer of a flag of truce/emissary or his escort or prevents their return or otherwise infringes their inviolability, or orders such acts committed, shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to five years. 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 380.
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), whoever “insults a parlementaire or his escort, maltreats or detains him, prevent his return or otherwise infringes upon his inviolability” commits a war crime. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 381.
Spain
Spain’s Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces (1978) provides that it is prohibited to attack or retain parlementaires. 
Spain, Royal Ordinance for the Armed Forces, 1978, Article 138.
Spain
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) punishes any soldier who “offends in words or in deeds or unduly retains a parlementaire or the persons who accompany him”. 
Spain, Military Criminal Code, 1985, Article 75(2).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes “anyone who, during an armed conflict, … infringes on the inviolability of, or retains unduly, a parlementaire or any person who accompanies him”. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 612(6).
The Penal Code only refers to parlementaires protected under the 1899 Hague Convention (II). 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 608(5).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, punishes “anyone who mistreats, insults or unduly detains a parlementaire or a person accompanying him” in time of armed conflict. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended, Article 114.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended in 2007, states: “Any person who has mistreated, injured or unduly detained an enemy parlementaire or a person accompanying a parlementaire, is to be punished with three years’ or more imprisonment or a monetary penalty.” 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended in 2007, Article 114.
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. 113
The penalty shall be a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or a monetary penalty for any person who:
b. mistreats, insults or retains without reason an enemy parlementaire or a person who accompanies him. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 113(b).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264i
The penalty shall be a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or a monetary penalty for any person who:
b. mistreats, insults or retains without reason an enemy parlementaire or a person who accompanies him. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264i (b).
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998), as amended, punishes “those who make an attempt on the lives of parlementaires or offend them”. 
Venezuela, Code of Military Justice, 1998, as amended, Article 474(13).
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Revised Penal Code (2000) punishes any individual, whether a national or not, who, “during a war of Venezuela against another nation, violates … the principles observed by civilized peoples in time of war, such as respect for … the white flag [and] parlementaires”. 
Venezuela, Revised Penal Code, 2000, Article 156(1).
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Penal Code (2005) states:
The following shall be punished with military arrest or political prison for one to four years:
1. Venezuelan or foreign nationals who, during a war between Venezuela and another nation, violate the … principles observed by civilized peoples during war such as respect for … parlementaires … , without prejudice to military laws which shall be specially applicable to these matters. 
Venezuela, Penal Code, 2005, Article 155(1).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, whoever “insults, harasses or detains a parlementaire or his escort or prevents their return, or who violates their immunity” commits a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 149.
No data.
China
The Report on the Practice of China recalls the occasion during the Chinese civil war when the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party met the leader of the Nationalist government in Chongqing (the Nationalist capital) to negotiate a truce and a settlement to the conflict. The negotiations were unsuccessful, but the Communist delegation’s safety was guaranteed. 
Report on the Practice of China, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
Colombia
According to the Report on the Practice of Colombia, it has been Colombia’s usual practice to issue a presidential decree suspending orders for the capture of the persons designated as negotiators by armed opposition groups. For example, a decree was issued in May 1997 to suspend the orders of capture of the designated negotiators for the release of 60 soldiers captured by an armed opposition movement. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 2.2, referring to Decree No. 1397, 26 May 1997.
Philippines
According to the Report on the Practice of the Philippines, government forces are instructed to respect the white flag of truce at all times. 
Report on the Practice of the Philippines, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows:
A peace delegation consisted usually of a group of responsible persons who had taken it on themselves to seek to restore the peace between two warring groups. The members of such a delegation could belong to one or both of the two sides to the conflict or to uninvolved third clans.
Somali custom dictated that the members of a peace delegation should not be harmed while they are travelling on their way through the territory of other clans as well as during their stay with the clan of their destination. Far from committing violence against them, the members of a peace delegation were to be welcomed and hospitably entertained throughout their stay, even if the peace offer they carried was to be rejected. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 37.
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
A training video produced by the UK Ministry of Defence emphasizes that the white flag or flag of truce must be respected and must not be attacked. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Training Video: The Geneva Conventions, 1986, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
United States of America
In 1951, in the 27th Report of the UN Command Operations in Korea to the UN Security Council, the United States reported the following incidents:
On 9 August, General Nam Il, through his Liaison Officer, claimed that the United Nations Command had violated its guarantees by attacking a Communist vehicle plainly marked with white cloth and carrying a white flag. The sole guarantee ever given by United Nations Command Liaison Officer with regard to aircraft refraining from the attack of the Communists delegations’ vehicles was contingent upon their being properly marked and upon prior notification being given of the time and route of their movement. The latter specification had not been complied with and United Nations aircraft did machine gun the truck. The United Nations Command cannot accept the risk of its forces entailed in refraining from attacks on any vehicles observed in rear of the battle zone except those reported by the Communist delegation as being in the service of the delegation. On 14 August, the Communists complained of a like incident. They have been informed again that the United Nations Command provides no immunity for vehicles unless the time and route of movement have been communicated to the United Nations Command. 
United States, 27th Report of the UN Command Operations in Korea to the Security Council, covering the period 1–15 August 1951, annexed to Note dated 15 October 1951 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/2377, 16 October 1951, reprinted in Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 398.
United States of America
On the basis of the US position with regard to the incidents described in the 27th Report of the UN Command Operations in Korea to the UN Security Council in 1951, the Report on US Practice states:
In principle, parlementaires advancing under a white flag should be respected, but in practice advance arrangements should be made to ensure respect for them. While within their own lines, they cannot rely solely on the white flag to protect them or their vehicles from air attack or other indirect fire. 
Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.2.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1991, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights for Afghanistan reported that members of an armed opposition group had placed mines on the path used by returning officials who, on their own initiative, had tried to act as intermediaries in negotiations for a cease-fire between governmental troops and opposition groups. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan, Report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1991/31, 28 January 1991, § 67.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “Bearers of a white flag (flag of truce) or other persons specially ordered to enter in contact with the enemy shall be respected.”  
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 540.
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