Practice Relating to Rule 27. Religious Personnel
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides, with reference to Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I: “Religious personnel, whether civilian or military, are governed by the same rules as medical personnel.”
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states, with reference to Article 15 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I: “Civilian and military religious personnel are governed by the same provisions as medical personnel.”
The manual further states that “religious personnel … who take a direct part in hostilities” are military objectives and can therefore be attacked.
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) provides for the punishment of any soldier who “exercises violence against the personnel of … religious services, be they enemy or neutral, members of aid organizations and personnel affected to the services of [religious establishments]”, provided that the protection due is not misused for hostile purposes.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) provides for the punishment of “anyone who should … exercise violence on … religious personnel”.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2003, states:
Anyone who [commits any of the following acts] during armed conflict shall be punished with three to seven years’ imprisonment:
2. Exercising violence against … religious personnel.
Spain’s Ministerial Order on Chaplains of the Armed Forces (2004) states:
During operations that may involve the use of force, chaplains belonging to the Military Archbishopric shall wear on their left arm an armlet … with the international distinctive sign for the protection of chaplains assigned to the Armed Forces established in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977, consisting of a red cross on a white background.