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in international law, detention of the nationals or property of an enemy or a belligerent. A belligerent will intern enemy merchant ships or take them as prizeprize,
in maritime law, the private property of an enemy that a belligerent captures at sea. For the capture of the vessel or cargo to be lawful it must be made outside neutral waters and by authority of the belligerent.
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, and a neutral should intern both belligerent ships that fail to leave its ports within a specified time and belligerent troops that enter its territory. The practice of detaining persons considered dangerous during a war is often called internment, even though they may not be enemy nationals. In World War II the United States detained persons of Japanese ancestry and German or Italian citizenship in relocation centersrelocation center,
in U.S. history, camp in which Japanese and Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II. Fearing a Japanese invasion, the military leaders, under authority of an executive order, defined (Mar.
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 on the mainland; Japanese and Japanese Americans were also detained in internment camps in Hawaii. The Geneva Convention of 1949 on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War provides for the unrestricted departure of enemy aliens from the territory of a belligerent at the outbreak of conflict, and the humane treatment of those aliens who choose to remain.



in international law the compulsory detention of foreign citizens by warring or neutral states during a time of armed conflict. Internees are settled in a defined locality which they are forbidden to leave. Internment of foreign civilians is distinguished from the internment of foreign military personnel.

Internment applies mainly in relation to civilians of one of the warring sides in permanent or temporary residence on the territory of the other warring side. Military personnel falling into the hands of the enemy are not internees but prisoners of war. Internment of enemy troops can take place only during an armistice, when military action and consequently the taking of prisoners cease.

Also subject to internment are military personnel of the warring sides arriving on the territory of a neutral state. Interned military personnel are disarmed and subjected to restrictions to prevent them from leaving the territory of the neutral state and resuming military activities. The neutral state supplies the internees with food and clothing and extends other services to them, which gives it the right to compensation after the end of hostilities.

Questions of internment were regulated by various clauses of the Geneva Convention of 1929. The Geneva Convention of 1949—Protection of the Civilian Population in Time of War— regulates in detail the status of foreign citizens and specifies that the place of internment must be outside the zone of military activities and, when possible, be designated by special markings. Internees are supported free of cost by the warring sides (they are supplied with such essentials as food, clothing, and medical help), and they have the right to correspond with relatives and with appropriate international organizations.

During World War II, fascist Germany brutally flouted the norms of international law on internment (for example, with regard to the right of asylum). Also in violation of international law was the internment by Anglo-American occupation authorities of Soviet citizens who had been forcibly transported by the Hitlerites to Germany and other European countries.


References in periodicals archive ?
The Soviets took over the former canteen block in the northeast of Berlin at the end of the Second World War and turned it into a special detainment camp.
Alfred Preis, the Honolulu architect commissioned to design the memorial, was the witness to another dark segment of the war, having spent three months in the Sand Island Detainment Camp in Hawaii, due to his Austrian origin.
Among other shortlisted works, the book beat Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera, a novel about the notorious detainment camp at Guantanamo Bay.