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Under Hague Convention:
Annex to the Convention
REGULATIONS RESPECTING THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS
OF WAR ON LAND
SECTION I ON BELLIGERENTS
The Qualifications of Belligerents
*The laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only to armies, but also to militia and volunteer corps fulfilling the following conditions:
*To be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
*To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance;
*To carry arms openly; and
*To conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
*In countries where militia or volunteer corps constitute the army, or form part of it, they are included under the denomination "army."
The inhabitants of a territory which has not been occupied, who, on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading troops without having had time to organize themselves in accordance with Article 1, shall be regarded as belligerents if they carry arms openly and if they respect the laws and customs of war.
SECTION II HOSTILITIES
Means of Injuring the Enemy,
Sieges, and bombardments
The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.
In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden -
*To employ poison or poisoned weapons;
*To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;
*To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;
*To declare that no quarter will be given;
*To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;
*To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention;
*To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
*To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. A belligerent is likewise forbidden to compel the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the war.
Ruses of war and the employment of measures necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the country are considered permissible.
The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.
The officer in command of an attacking force must, before commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his power to warn the authorities.
In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not being used at the time for military purposes.
It is the duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the enemy beforehand.
The pillage of a town or place, even when taken by assault, is prohibited.
Occupation and international humanitarian law:
1. What is occupation?
Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations (HR) states that a "territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised."
According to their common Article 2, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 apply to any territory occupied during international hostilities. They also apply in situations where the occupation of state territory meets with no armed resistance.
The legality of any particular occupation is regulated by the UN Charter and the law known as jus ad bellum. Once a situation exists which factually amounts to an occupation the law of occupation applies – whether or not the occupation is considered lawful.
Therefore, for the applicability of the law of occupation, it makes no difference whether an occupation has received Security Council approval, what its aim is, or indeed whether it is called an “invasion”, “liberation”, “administration” or “occupation”. As the law of occupation is primarily motivated by humanitarian considerations, it is solely the facts on the ground that determine its application.
2. When does the law of occupation start to apply?
The rules of international humanitarian law relevant to occupied territories become applicable whenever territory comes under the effective control of hostile foreign armed forces, even if the occupation meets no armed resistance and there is no fighting.
The question of "control" calls up at least two different interpretations. It could be taken to mean that a situation of occupation exists whenever a party to a conflict exercises some level of authority or control within foreign territory. So, for example, advancing troops could be considered bound by the law of occupation already during the invasion phase of hostilities. This is the approach suggested in the ICRC's Commentary to the Fourth Geneva Convention (1958).
An alternative and more restrictive approach would be to say that a situation of occupation exists only once a party to a conflict is in a position to exercise sufficient authority over enemy territory to enable it to discharge all of the duties imposed by the law of occupation. This approach is adopted by a number of military manuals.
A notable example are the controversies surrounding Yasukuni Shrine in Japan, where a number of convicted World War II war criminals are interred. Chinese and Korean representatives have often protested against the visits of Japanese politicians to the shrine. The visits have in the past led to severe diplomatic conflicts between the nations, and Japanese businesses were attacked in China after a visit by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the shrine was widely reported and criticized in Chinese and Korean media.
Originally posted by Equinox99
I personally believe that a terrorist is someone who's objectives are misaligned from his peoples. His intention is where his superiors say it is. A freedom fighter is the person who wants the best intentions for his people.