Practice Relating to Rule 96. Hostage-Taking
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) prohibits “the taking of hostages” as a method of warfare.
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Under any circumstances international humanitarian law ensures humane treatment during an armed conflict, of persons not directly involved in combat operations … In particular, the following shall be prohibited with regard to such persons: … taking of hostages … [and] threats to commit any of the above acts.
The Regulations further states: “The prohibited methods of warfare include … taking of hostages.”
With regard to the behaviour of forces in occupied territory, the Regulations provides: “It is prohibited … in the occupied territory … to take hostages.”
With regard to internal armed conflict, the Regulations further provides:
The following acts against [all persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take part in hostilities] are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever: … taking of hostages [and] threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.
The Russian Federation’s Criminal Code (1996) punishes “the capture or detention of a person as a hostage committed with a view to compel a State, an organization or a person to accomplish or to abstain from a certain action as a condition for release of the hostage”.