Practice Relating to Rule 118. Provision of Basic Necessities to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Prisoners of war shall receive sufficient food and clothing as well as the necessary medical attention.”
The manual also states that, in case of the evacuation of prisoners, they “shall be supplied with sufficient food, clothing and medical care”.
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states under the heading “Protection of prisoners of war”: “The detaining power has to provide for sufficient food, clothing and medical care.”
In 2005, in reply to a question by a Member of the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament), a German Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office, wrote:
How does the Federal Government assess the legal view of the United States that so-called unlawful combatants are not entitled to the rights according to the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Convention?
As is known, the status of the detainees of the United States in Guantánamo and at other places is contentious. The Federal Government is still of the view that, independent of a subsequent status definition, these detainees are to be treated like prisoners of war, i.e. in compliance with international humanitarian law. This comprises: humane treatment, respect for their persons and their honour, protection against acts of violence and intimidation, the right to medical treatment and, as regards trials, guarantees in line with the rules of law. The Federal Government also adheres to its view that the status of the detainees, contentious under international law, requires clarification and an expeditious solution.