Practice Relating to Rule 87. Humane Treatment
Section D. Persons deprived of their liberty
Switzerland’s military manuals provide that prisoners have the right to be treated humanely and protected against all forms of violence.
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
Prisoners must be humanely treated at any time and in any place. Any act of torture, physical or mental ill-treatment, degrading treatment or discrimination as well as measures of reprisal are prohibited. The State is responsible for the treatment of prisoners; each individual may be held liable for violations.
[emphasis in original]
In 2005, in a report in response to a parliamentary postulate on private security and military companies, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
International humanitarian law is aimed not only at states
. It also contains numerous provisions for individuals and even civilians to observe. Perhaps the most well known example is Article 3 common to all four Geneva Conventions
, according to which persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed “hors de combat” by … detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated human[e]ly, without violence to life and person, in particular mutilation, torture and cruel treatment.
[footnote in original omitted; emphasis in original]
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
3.4 [Increasing use] of anti-guerrilla tactics
Apart from the direct fight against insurgents, international humanitarian law also addresses other anti-guerrilla tactics. … If members of militias or opposition groups fall into the hands of the government they benefit from the protection of art. 75 of  Additional Protocol I as well as that of art. 3 common to the  Geneva Conventions. They must thus be treated humanely.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, which stated: “Persons who are not or no longer taking part in the hostilities must be treated humanely without any discrimination. This is especially important in the case of detainees.”