The wills of internees shall be received for safe-keeping by the
responsible authorities; and if the event of the death of an internee
his will shall be transmitted without delay to a person whom he
has previously designated.
Deaths of internees shall be certified in every case by a doctor,
and a death certificate shall be made out, showing the causes of
death and the conditions under which it occurred.
An official record of the death, duly registered,
shall be drawn up in accordance with the procedure relating thereto
in force in the territory where the place of internment is situated,
and a duly certified copy of such record shall be transmitted without
delay to the Protecting Power as well as to the Central Agency referred
to in Article 140.
The detaining authorities shall ensure that internees who die while
interned are honourably buried, if possible according to the rites
of the religion to which they belonged and that their graves are
respected, properly maintained, and marked in such a way that they
can always be recognized.
Deceased internees shall be buried in individual
graves unless unavoidable circumstances require the use of collective
graves. Bodies may be cremated only for imperative reasons of hygiene,
on account of the religion of the deceased or in accordance with
his expressed wish to this effect. In case of cremation, the fact
shall be stated and the reasons given in the death certificate of
the deceased. The ashes shall be retained for safe-keeping by the
detaining authorities and shall be transferred as soon as possible
to the next of kin on their request.
As soon as circumstances permit, and not later than
the close of hostilities, the Detaining Power shall forward lists
of graves of deceased internees to the Powers on whom deceased internees
depended, through the Information Bureaux provided for in Article
136. Such lists shall include all particulars necessary for the
identification of the deceased internees, as well as the exact location
of their graves.
Every death or serious injury of an internee, caused or suspected
to have been caused by a sentry, another internee or any other person,
as well as any death the cause of which is unknown, shall be immediately
followed by an official enquiry by the Detaining Power.
A communication on this subject shall be sent immediately
to the Protecting Power. The evidence of any witnesses shall be
taken, and a report including such evidence shall be prepared and
forwarded to the said Protecting Power.
If the enquiry indicates the guilt of one or more
persons, the Detaining Power shall take all necessary steps to ensure
the prosecution of the person or persons responsible.
Chapter XIII. Release, Repatriation and Accommodation
in Neutral Countries
Each interned person shall be released by the Detaining Power as
soon as the reasons which necessitated his internment no longer
The Parties to the conflict shall, moreover, endeavour
during the course of hostilities, to conclude agreements for the
release, the repatriation, the return to places of residence or
the accommodation in a neutral country of certain classes of internees,
in particular children, pregnant women and mothers with infants
and young children, wounded and sick, and internees who have been
detained for a long time.
Internment shall cease as soon as possible after the close of hostilities.
Internees in the territory of a Party to the conflict
against whom penal proceedings are pending for offences not exclusively
subject to disciplinary penalties, may be detained until the close
of such proceedings and, if circumstances require, until the completion
of the penalty. The same shall apply to internees who have been
previously sentenced to a punishment depriving them of liberty.
By agreement between the Detaining Power and the
Powers concerned, committees may be set up after the close of hostilities,
or of the occupation of territories, to search for dispersed internees.
The High Contracting Parties shall endeavour, upon the
close of hostilities or occupation, to ensure the return of all
internees to their last place of residence, or to facilitate their
The Detaining Power shall bear the expense of returning
released internees to the places where they were residing when interned,
or, if it took them into custody while they were in transit or on
the high seas, the cost of completing their journey or of their
return to their point of departure.
Where a Detaining Power refuses permission to reside
in its territory to a released internee who previously had his permanent
domicile therein, such Detaining Power shall pay the cost of the
said internee's repatriation. If, however, the internee elects to
return to his country on his own responsibility or in obedience
to the Government of the Power to which he owes allegiance, the
Detaining Power need not pay the expenses of his journey beyond
the point of his departure from its territory. The Detaining Power
need not pay the cost of repatriation of an internee who was interned
at his own request.
If internees are transferred in accordance with
Article 45, the transferring and receiving Powers shall agree on
the portion of the above costs to be borne by each.
The foregoing shall not prejudice such special agreements
as may be concluded between Parties to the conflict concerning the
exchange and repatriation of their nationals in enemy hands.