Practice Relating to Rule 47. Attacks against Persons Hors de Combat
Section B. Specific categories of persons hors de combat
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, states that under international conventions it is prohibited “to fire at, injure or kill an enemy who surrenders or who is captured”, as well as “to refuse an unconditional surrender”.
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “It is prohibited to kill or wound an adversary who surrenders.”
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides: “It is prohibited to attack, kill or wound an adversary who surrenders.” It adds: “Prisoners shall be spared.”
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) incorporates the content of Article 41 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. The manual adds: “Any intention to surrender must be clearly expressed: by raising hands, throwing down weapons or waving a white flag.”
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states:
Combatants must respect and treat with humanity all persons protected by the applicable international conventions …
Prisoners of war … [and] the wounded, sick and shipwrecked … are protected persons …
The protected persons are protected as long as they abstain from taking a direct part in hostilities.
It is prohibited for combatants to deliberately target protected persons.
The Code of Defence also states: “Combatants shall not kill or wound an enemy combatant who is hors de combat