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persons illegally taken into custody by belligerents in order to avert the resistance of the population of an occupied territory. As a rule, hostages are taken from among persons who are not participating directly in military operations.

The Geneva Convention of Aug. 12, 1949, On the Protection of Civilians in Wartime, prohibits the taking of hostages, noting that this rule is included among the minimum provisions binding upon all belligerents. In its list of persons who may not be taken as hostages under any circumstances the Geneva convention includes—in addition to civilians—members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those who, as a result of illness, wounds, or detention, have ceased to participate in military operations.

The Geneva convention’s provisions concerning hostages must be applied also to the participants of national liberation movements.

References in periodicals archive ?
Daria Morgunova, a spokeswoman for the theatre, said that an actor who was among the hostages called her to say that the captors had threatened on Friday to begin killing hostages the next morning.
A series of explosions and intermittent gunfire began just before dawn, and within 90 minutes the operation was over and hostages could be seen filing out.
Police were able to enter the building after one of the hostages opened the door for them, Kharkiv regional prosecutor Yuriy Danylchenko told reporters.
While (Sumalpong) was helping the wounded hostage, I saw that there were more hostages inside the building.
10, local police and SWAT teams surrounded ACU's branch on the campus of University of Alabama where Cedrick Lamar Collins of Tuscaloosa took 10 credit union employees hostage after demanding money.
Some accounts said all six people taken hostage were injured and hospitalized, but none said whether they were injured by their captor or by the officers charging his position.
According to the reports, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has contacted Afghan government and head of American Forces General Nicholson for safely recovery of hostages.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Pakistan Volodymyr Lakomov said this while welcoming the decision of the Russian government to release two Ukrainian hostages namely Gennadiy Afanasyev and Yuriy Soloshenko according to a statement issued here on Friday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an had said that Turkish officials did not bargain with ISIL militants for the release of the hostages.
Rumors that a transfer had occurred emerged Tuesday after a report published by Al-Binaa newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, claimed that the hostages had been moved.
During their captivity, the hostages were sustained by support, including private medical visits and food, from the UNODC Hostage Support Programme, funded by private donations from Oceans Beyond Piracy, a private foundation, and working in conjunction with the Thai Embassy in Nairobi.
The second hostage-taking in France, at a kosher grocery in eastern Paris, has ended with the gunman dead and some hostages freed.