Practice Relating to Rule 87. Humane Treatment
Section D. Persons deprived of their liberty
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states:
When PWs [prisoners of war] are taken, they are prisoners of the Detaining Power, not of the personnel who have captured them. The Detaining Power is responsible for seeing that they are properly treated. PWs must be humanely treated at all times. They must be protected, particularly against violence, intimidation, insults and public curiosity.
Respect for a PW’s person and honour must be given at all times. All PWs retain the legal rights they had before capture and the right to exercise them so far as is consistent with their captivity. As stated previously, their status is in no sense that of persons convicted of a crime.
The manual also provides a list of “Soldiers Rules”, one of which is: “Do not … abuse prisoners of war.”
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 13 of Geneva Convention III and Article 27 of Geneva Convention IV, as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 5(3), are punishable offences.