Administration and Discipline
Every place of internment shall be put under the authority of a
responsible officer, chosen from the regular military forces or
the regular civil administration of the Detaining Power. The officer
in charge of the place of internment must have in his possession
a copy of the present Convention in the official language, or one
of the official languages, of his country and shall be responsible
for its application. The staff in control of internees shall be
instructed in the provisions of the present Convention and of the
administrative measures adopted to ensure its application.
The text of the present Convention and the texts
of special agreements concluded under the said Convention shall
be posted inside the place of internment, in a language which the
internees understand, or shall be in the possession of the Internee
Regulations, orders, notices and publications of
every kind shall be communicated to the internees and posted inside
the places of internment, in a language which they understand.
Every order and command addressed to internees individually
must, likewise, be given in a language which they understand.
The disciplinary regime in places of internment shall be consistent
with humanitarian principles, and shall in no circumstances include
regulations imposing on internees any physical exertion dangerous
to their health or involving physical or moral victimization. Identification
by tattooing or imprinting signs or markings on the body, is prohibited.
In particular, prolonged standing and roll-calls,
punishment drill, military drill and manoeuvres, or the reduction
of food rations, are prohibited.
Internees shall have the right to present to the authorities in
whose power they are, any petition with regard to the conditions
of internment to which they are subjected.
They shall also have the right to apply without
restriction through the Internee Committee or, if they consider
it necessary, direct to the representatives of the Protecting Power,
in order to indicate to them any points on which they may have complaints
to make with regard to the conditions of internment.
Such petitions and complaints shall be transmitted
forthwith and without alteration, and even if the latter are recognized
to be unfounded, they may not occasion any punishment.
Periodic reports on the situation in places of internment
and as to the needs of the internees may be sent by the Internee
Committees to the representatives of the Protecting Powers.
In every place of internment, the internees shall freely elect by
secret ballot every six months, the members of a Committee empowered
to represent them before the Detaining and the Protecting Powers,
the International Committee of the Red Cross and any other organization
which may assist them. The members of the Committee shall be eligible
Internees so elected shall enter upon their duties
after their election has been approved by the detaining authorities.
The reasons for any refusals or dismissals shall be communicated
to the Protecting Powers concerned.
The Internee Committees shall further the physical, spiritual and
intellectual well-being of the internees.
In case the internees decide, in particular, to
organize a system of mutual assistance amongst themselves, this
organization would be within the competence of the Committees in
addition to the special duties entrusted to them under other provisions
of the present Convention.
Members of Internee Committees shall not be required to perform
any other work, if the accomplishment of their duties is rendered
more difficult thereby.
Members of Internee Committees may appoint from
amongst the internees such assistants as they may require. All material
facilities shall be granted to them, particularly a certain freedom
of movement necessary for the accomplishment of their duties (visits
to labour detachments, receipt of supplies, etc.).
All facilities shall likewise be accorded to members
of Internee Committees for communication by post and telegraph with
the detaining authorities, the Protecting Powers, the International
Committee of the Red Cross and their delegates, and with the organizations
which give assistance to internees. Committee members in labour
detachments shall enjoy similar facilities for communication with
their Internee Committee in the principal place of internment. Such
communications shall not be limited, nor considered as forming a
part of the quota mentioned in Article 107.
Members of Internee Committees who are transferred
shall be allowed a reasonable time to acquaint their successors
with current affairs.
Relations with the Exterior
Immediately upon interning protected persons, the Detaining Powers
shall inform them, the Power to which they owe allegiance and their
Protecting Power of the measures taken for executing the provisions
of the present Chapter. The Detaining Powers shall likewise inform
the Parties concerned of any subsequent modifications of such measures.
As soon as he is interned, or at the latest not more than one week
after his arrival in a place of internment, and likewise in cases
of sickness or transfer to another place of internment or to a hospital,
every internee shall be enabled to send direct to his family, on
the one hand, and to the Central Agency provided for by Article
140, on the other, an internment card similar, if possible, to the
model annexed to the present Convention, informing his relatives
of his detention, address and state of health. The said cards shall
be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed in any