Practice Relating to Rule 99. Deprivation of Liberty
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides that “unlawful confinement” is a grave breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Additional Protocols.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
Protected persons must be able to lead normal lives as far as possible.
- Captivity in war is not a punishment, but only a means of preventing the opponent from playing any further part in the conflict.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states:
When carrying out its operational mission, the military may be confronted with the following and other human rights, which may affect what they do. The following is based on ECHR [1950 European Convention on Human Rights] and related protocols ratified by the Netherlands. In view of the detailed rules added by extensive legal precedents, this convention forms a basis for the fulfilment of the human rights established in other treaties, at least those with which the military may be involved in pursuit of their duties. Those human rights are as follows:
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, it is a crime to commit in an international armed conflict grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including “unlawful confinement” of persons protected by the Conventions.
With regard to unlawful confinement, several post-Second World War trials found army officers and, occasionally, industrialists guilty of war crimes because of their participation in the wrongful internment of civilians, their illegal detention and internment under inhumane conditions. Examples are the Dutch Motomura case
and the Notomi Sueo case
before the Temporary Court-Martial at Makassar in 1947, the Rauter case
before the Special Court at The Hague and Special Court of Cassation in 1948 and 1949, and the Zuhlke case
before the Special Court in Amsterdam and the Special Court of Cassation in 1948.