Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Sweden’s Military Manual (1976) provides that military persons and civilians in the power of a party to the conflict shall not be tortured or mistreated.
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) considers that the fundamental guarantees for persons in the power of one party to the conflict as contained in Article 75 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I are part of customary international law.
The manual provides that “torture or inhuman treatment” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
The manual also states: “Protected persons may not be exposed to any form of physical or mental coercion.”
Sweden’s Penal Code (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that causing severe suffering to persons enjoying special protection under international law is a crime against international law.
In its judgment in the Arklöf case in 2006, Sweden’s Stockholm District Court stated:
[F]rom an international law perspective this is a matter of … cruel treatment, torture as well as humiliating and degrading treatment (articles 3 of Geneva Conventions I–IV, Additional Protocol II article 4). The compulsion that Arklöf exercised when he forced Tabakovic to walk out into a supposed minefield and to walk over a body can primarily be referred to as mental torture.
As previously stated, the international law rules that have been violated have customary status. These are serious transgressions.