Practice Relating to Rule 37. Open Towns and Non-Defended Localities
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Any inhabited place near or in a zone where armed forces are in contact, which is open for occupation, can be declared a non-defended locality.”
The manual further states:
For a locality to be declared undefended, it must meet the following conditions:
- it must be evacuated by all military personnel and mobile military weapons and equipment;
- no hostile use can be made of fixed military facilities or establishments;
- both the authorities and the population must refrain from committing acts of hostility;
- no activity in support of military operations can be carried out in or from such places.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) prohibits attacks against open towns and non-defended localities.
The manual further states that “launching an attack against … non-defended localities” constitutes a war crime.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) prohibits attacks against open towns and non-defended localities.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) provides for the punishment of “anyone who, in the event of armed conflict, should … knowingly violate the protection due to … undefended areas … which are duly identified with signs or the appropriate distinctive signals”.