Practice Relating to Rule 65. Perfidy
Section E. Simulation of an intention to negotiate under the white flag of truce
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) forbids perfidy. Thus, “it is notably prohibited … to feign a desire to negotiate by misusing the flag of parlementaires”.
As an example of “murder by treason”, the manual lists firing at the enemy while approaching them under the protection of a white flag.
The manual also considers the “perfidious use of … distinctive signs recognized by the [1949 Geneva] Conventions or [the 1977 Additional Protocol I], in violation of Article 37 [of the 1977 Additional Protocol I],” as a grave breach of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
International humanitarian law prohibits killing, injuring or capturing an adversary by resorting to perfidy. Acts of perfidy include any form of deception designed to win the confidence of an adversary and lead him to believe that he is entitled or obliged to accord protection under the rules of international humanitarian law, with the intention of betraying that confidence. An example of perfidy is to falsely lay claim to protected status through the misuse of signs or emblems[.]