ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page
Persons whose liberty has been restricted
    Article 5 -- Persons whose liberty has been restricted

    1. In addition to the provisions of Article 4, the following provisions shall be respected as a minimum with regard to persons deprived of their liberty for reasons related to the armed conflict, whether they are interned or detained:

    (a) the wounded and the sick shall be treated in accordance with Article 7;

    (b) the persons referred to in this paragraph shall, to the same extent as the local civilian population, be provided with food and drinking water and be afforded safeguards as regards health and hygiene and protection against the rigours of the climate and the dangers of the armed conflict;

    (c) they shall be allowed to receive individual or collective relief;

    (d) they shall be allowed to practise their religion and, if requested and appropriate, to receive spiritual assistance from persons, such as chaplains, performing religious functions;

    (e) they shall, if made to work, have the benefit of working conditions and safeguards similar to those enjoyed by the local civilian population.

    2. Those who are responsible for the internment or detention of the persons referred to in paragraph 1 shall also, within the limits of their capabilities, respect the following provisions
    relating to such persons:

    (a) except when men and women of a family are accommodated together, women shall be held in quarters separated from those of men and shall be under the immediate supervision of women;

    (b) they shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards, the number of which may be limited by competent authority if it deems necessary;

    (c) places of internment and detention shall not be located close to the combat zone. The persons referred to in paragraph 1 shall be evacuated when the places where they are interned or detained become particularly exposed to danger arising out of the armed conflict, if their evacuation can be carried out under adequate conditions of safety;

    (d) they shall have the benefit of medical examinations;

    (e) their physical or mental health and integrity shall not be endangered by any unjustified act or omission. Accordingly, it is prohibited to subject the persons described in this Article to any medical procedure which is not indicated by the state of health of the person concerned, and which is not consistent with the generally accepted medical standards applied to free persons under similar medical circumstances.

    3. Persons who are not covered by paragraph 1 but whose liberty has been restricted in any way whatsoever for reasons related to the armed conflict shall be treated humanely in accordance
    with Article 4 and with paragraphs 1 (a), (c) and (d), and 2 (b) of this Article.

    4. If it is decided to release persons deprived of their liberty, necessary measures to ensure their safety shall be taken by those so deciding.


<< Previous     Up     Next >>