Practice Relating to Rule 96. Hostage-Taking
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) prohibits the taking of hostages among the civilian population.
The same prohibition applies to prisoners of war.
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
[N]o person who is captured or detained in relation to an armed conflict remains unprotected under the law of armed conflict and is entitled, at all times, to minimum guarantees. [These include] … prohibition of the following acts at any time and in any place, whether committed by civilian or military agents:
l. the taking of hostages.
The manual also prohibits the taking of hostages among the civilian population.
Under Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985), hostage-taking of nationals of the State with which Spain is at war is an offence against the laws and customs of war.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes anyone who, in time of armed conflict, takes any protected person hostage.
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2003, states:
Any person who [commits any of the following acts] during armed conflict is punished with 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment, without prejudice to a penalty for the results of such acts:
4. … [T]aking a protected person hostage.