Internees shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards.
If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to limit the number of
letters and cards sent by each internee, the said number shall not
be less than two letters and four cards monthly; these shall be
drawn up so as to conform as closely as possible to the models annexed
to the present Convention. If limitations must be placed on the
correspondence addressed to internees, they may be ordered only
by the Power to which such internees owe allegiance, possibly at
the request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards must
be conveyed with reasonable despatch; they may not be delayed or
retained for disciplinary reasons.
Internees who have been a long time without news,
or who find it impossible to receive news from their relatives,
or to give them news by the ordinary postal route, as well as those
who are at a considerable distance from their homes, shall be allowed
to send telegrams, the charges being paid by them in the currency
at their disposal. They shall likewise benefit by this provision
in cases which are recognized to be urgent.
As a rule, internees' mail shall be written in their
own language. The Parties to the conflict may authorize correspondence
in other languages.
Internees shall be allowed to receive, by post or by any other means,
individual parcels or collective shipments containing in particular
foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies, as well as books and objects
of a devotional, educational or recreational character which may
meet their needs. Such shipments shall in no way free the Detaining
Power from the obligations imposed upon it by virtue of the present
Should military necessity require the quantity of
such shipments to be limited, due notice thereof shall be given
to the Protecting Power and to the International Committee of the
Red Cross, or to any other organization giving assistance to the
internees and responsible for the forwarding of such shipments.
The conditions for the sending of individual parcels
and collective shipments shall, if necessary, be the subject of
special agreements between the Powers concerned, which may in no
case delay the receipt by the internees of relief supplies. Parcels
of clothing and foodstuffs may not include books. Medical relief
supplies shall, as a rule, be sent in collective parcels.
In the absence of special agreements between Parties to the conflict
regarding the conditions for the receipt and distribution of collective
relief shipments, the regulations concerning collective relief which
are annexed to the present Convention shall be applied.
The special agreements provided for above shall
in no case restrict the right of Internee Committees to take possession
of collective relief shipments intended for internees, to undertake
their distribution and to dispose of them in the interests of the
recipients. Nor shall such agreements restrict the right of representatives
of the Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red
Cross, or any other organization giving assistance to internees
and responsible for the forwarding of collective shipments, to supervise
their distribution to the recipients.
An relief shipments for internees shall be exempt from import, customs
and other dues.
All matter sent by mail, including relief parcels
sent by parcel post and remittances of money, addressed from other
countries to internees or despatched by them through the post office,
either direct or through the Information Bureaux provided for in
Article 136 and the Central Information Agency provided for in Article
140, shall be exempt from all postal dues both in the countries
of origin and destination and in intermediate countries. To this
end, in particular, the exemption provided by the Universal Postal
Convention of 1947 and by the agreements of the Universal Postal
Union in favour of civilians of enemy nationality detained in camps
or civilian prisons, shall be extended to the other interned persons
protected by the present Convention. The countries not signatory
to the above-mentioned agreements shall be bound to grant freedom
from charges in the same circumstances.
The cost of transporting relief shipments which
are intended for internees and which, by reason of their weight
or any other cause, cannot be sent through the post office, shall
be borne by the Detaining Power in all the territories under its
control. Other Powers which are Parties to the present Convention
shall bear the cost of transport in their respective territories.
Costs connected with the transport of such shipments,
which are not covered by the above paragraphs, shall be charged
to the senders.
The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to
reduce, so far as possible, the charges for telegrams sent by internees,
or addressed to them.
Should military operations prevent the Powers concerned from fulfilling
their obligation to ensure the conveyance of the mail and relief
shipments provided for in Articles 106, 107, 108 and 113, the Protecting
Powers concerned, the International Committee of the Red Cross or
any other organization duly approved by the Parties to the conflict
may undertake the conveyance of such shipments by suitable means
(rail, motor vehicles, vessels or aircraft, etc.). For this purpose,
the High Contracting Parties shall endeavour to supply them with
such transport, and to allow its circulation, especially by granting
the necessary safe-conducts.
Such transport may also be used to convey:
(a) correspondence, lists and reports exchanged between the Central
Information Agency referred to in Article 140 and the National Bureaux
referred to in Article 136;
(b) correspondence and reports relating to internees which the Protecting
Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other
organization assisting the internees exchange either with their
own delegates or with the Parties to the conflict.
These provisions in no way detract from the right
of any Party to the conflict to arrange other means of transport
if it should so prefer, nor preclude the granting of safe-conducts,
under mutually agreed conditions, to such means of transport.
The costs occasioned by the use of such means of
transport shall be borne, in proportion to the importance of the
shipments, by the Parties to the conflict whose nationals are benefited