Practice Relating to Rule 65. Perfidy
Section F. Simulation of protected status by using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states that the “perfidious use of the distinctive sign of the Red Cross, Red Crescent … in violation of Article 37 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I]” constitutes a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, punishes “anyone who abuses the emblem or the protection of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun … to prepare or commit hostile acts” in time of armed conflict.
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended in 2007, states:
Any person who abuses the emblem or the protection of the Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun, [or] the emblem of the third Additional Protocol [2005 Additional Protocol III] to the  Geneva Conventions … in order to prepare or commit hostile acts is to be punished with three years’ or more imprisonment or a monetary penalty or, in less serious cases, a year imprisonment or less.
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
International humanitarian law prohibits killing, injuring or capturing an adversary by resorting to perfidy. Acts of perfidy include any form of deception designed to win the confidence of an adversary and lead him to believe that he is entitled or obliged to accord protection under the rules of international humanitarian law, with the intention of betraying that confidence. An example of perfidy is to falsely lay claim to protected status through the misuse of signs or emblems[.]
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
3.3 Increasing use of guerrilla tactics…
International humanitarian law in force treats these cases in a relatively complete manner, binding non-State and State actors alike. Feigning to have protected civilian status or another protected status (e.g. member of the medical or religious personnel, …) in order to kill, injure or capture an adversary constitutes an act of perfidy contrary to international law.
[footnotes in original omitted]