Practice Relating to Rule 87. Humane Treatment
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that “all those who are not entitled to a status affording them special or general protection or more favourable treatment have the right to be treated humanely”.
The manual also states: “Treat all … enemies in your power with humanity”.
The manual further states that the “duties of medical personnel, as established by the law of armed conflict” include: “treat all persons hors de combat
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2003, states:
Anyone who [commits any of the following acts] during armed conflict shall be punished with three to seven years’ imprisonment:
3. … [S]ubjecting a protected person to humiliating or degrading treatment.
Spain’s Law on the Military Career (2007) states:
The following essential rules define military conduct:
First. … [He or she] shall respect the dignity and inalienable rights of all persons … In no case shall the serviceman or servicewoman be subject to, nor shall they subject others to, measures that undermine their personal dignity.
Spain’s Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009) states that members of the armed forces “[m]ust protect defenceless or disadvantaged persons, in particular women and children, against … humiliating and degrading treatment”.
Spain’s Law on the Rights and Duties of Members of the Armed Forces (2011) states:
Article 2. Scope of application
1. This law applies to all members of the Armed Forces who acquire the status of military personnel in accordance with Law 39/2007, of 19 November, on Military Career. Accordingly, it applies to official members of the armed forces, except for those persons in administrative roles whose status as military personnel is suspended and students undergoing military training.
2. This status applies to members of the reserves and aspirants when they are incorporated into the armed forces …
Article 6. Rules of conduct of military personnel
1. The essential rules governing the conduct of military personnel are the following:
To act in accordance with respect for the person, the common good, and international law applicable during armed conflict. The dignity and inviolable rights of the person are values which one has the obligation to respect and the right to demand. In no event shall military personnel be subject to, or subject others to, measures which result in the violation of personal dignity or undue restriction of a person’s rights.
In 2010, in the Couso case
, which concerned the killing of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 by troops of the United States of America, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court referred to norms of IHL relevant to the case under review, including Article 147 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV on acts against the physical integrity or health of protected persons.