Practice Relating to Rule 123. Recording and Notification of Personal Details of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) states: “Upon the outbreak of a conflict and in all cases of occupation, official bureaux of information shall be created on the territory of the Parties to the conflict and on those of the Neutral Powers having received members of foreign armed forces.” It adds: “A Central Prisoners of War Information Agency shall be created in a neutral country by the ICRC. The Agency shall collect all the important information on prisoners and transmit it as rapidly as possible to the country of origin of the prisoners of war.”
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
Prisoners may be interrogated but no pressure may be exercised on them to obtain information. They are required to give their surname, first name, date of birth, rank and identification number. If they refuse, they are not punished but they lose privileges accorded to their rank.