Detention by non state armed groups: defining the applicable laws and rules
This thesis is about detention activities undertaken by non-state armed groups in situations of non-international armed conflicts. It focuses on the applicable laws and rules and ascertains the basis of non-state armed group’s obligations towards detainees in internal conflicts. The aim is to illuminate the international law fields which provide a basis and authority for NSAGs to carry out detention activities. Accordingly the thesis inquires into the specific procedures and rules relating to the various phases of detention; starting from identifying the valid reasons of arrest, the living conditions of detention, the treatment of detainees and the judicial guarantees during trial and sentencing. The central question of the thesis is whether there is a basis in international humanitarian law for NSAGs to carry out detention and whether IHL and other international law fields have rules in place, which could rightly apply to NSAGs and sufficiently govern their detention activities. The thesis rests on a conclusion that Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol II are undisputed treaty laws with a solid basis for NSAGs obligations in situations of internal conflict, including specific obligations related to detention: humane treatment of detainees; regulating conditions of detention and minimum judicial standards. There is a gap to fill in terms of safeguarding detainees interests during interment. Through a desk research, using primary and secondary sources, this thesis seeks to expand the protection scope for detainees and looks into the applicability of customary IHL and International human rights law to NSAGs and the content of relevant rules regulating detention activities. Apparently, both regimes supplement what is already contained in common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II.