Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) lists the obligations of the detaining power, inter alia
, that “it is prohibited to use physical or mental torture to obtain information” from prisoners of war.
According to the manual, prisoners of war have the right “not to be subjected to any form of pressure or torture”.
The manual adds that it is prohibited at all times and in all places to subject prisoners of war to torture, whether physical or mental, whether committed by military or civilian agents.
Regarding the penal and disciplinary regime for prisoners of war, the manual states: “It is prohibited … generally speaking, all forms of torture and cruelty.”
The manual contains the provisions of Article 75 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
Under the manual, torture or inhuman treatment, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health and any deliberate act or omission endangering the health or physical and mental integrity committed by medical personnel are war crimes.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
[N]o person who is captured or detained in relation to an armed conflict remains unprotected under the law of armed conflict and is entitled, at all times, to minimum guarantees. [These include] … prohibition of the following acts at any time and in any place, whether committed by civilian or military agents: … any kind of physical or mental torture … [or] outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.
The manual lists the obligations of the detaining power, inter alia
, that “it is prohibited to use physical or mental torture or any other form of coercion to obtain information” from prisoners of war.
According to the manual, prisoners of war have the right “not to be subjected to any kind of coercion or torture”.
Under the manual, “torture or inhuman treatment”, “wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health” and “any wilful act or omission which seriously endangers the physical or mental health or integrity of persons” committed by medical personnel are war crimes.
Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985) punishes military personnel who ill-treat or wilfully torture surrendered or helpless enemy combatants. It also punishes the soldier who treats inhumanely or causes serious injury to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, prisoners of war or the civilian population.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes anyone who, during an armed conflict, commits the following acts against a protected person: ill-treatment, torture, inhuman treatment or causing great suffering.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2003, states:
Any person who is found guilty of torture shall be punished with two to six years’ imprisonment, if the case is deemed grave, or one to three years’ imprisonment if it is not. All penalties shall include an absolute disqualification from holding public office for a period between eight and twelve years.
Spain’s Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009) states that members of the armed forces “[m]ust not subject prisoners and detainees to torture or abuse”.