Practice Relating to Rule 59. Improper Use of the Distinctive Emblems of the Geneva Conventions
Finland’s Emblem Act (1979) provides:
The distinctive emblem of the Red Cross, the terms “Red Cross” or “Geneva Cross” … shall not be used in cases other than those provided for in this Act … Signs, pictures or terms which resemble the emblems, signs or terms referred to in § 1 to such a degree that confusion may arise shall not be used.
The Act punishes “whosoever makes use of the emblems, signs, pictures or terms referred to in §§ 1 and 2 in … unauthorized activity”.
Finland’s Revised Penal Code (1995) provides: “A person who in an act of war … abuses an international symbol designated for the protection of the wounded or the sick … shall be sentenced for a war crime.”
Finland’s Criminal Code (1889), as amended in 2008, provides that any person who “misuses … the symbols referred to in the Geneva Conventions or Additional Protocol I or III to the Geneva Conventions” shall be “sentenced for a war crime
to imprisonment for at least one year or for life”.
(emphasis in original)