Section 268.75 Criminal Code Act | National War Crime Taking Hostages


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The Legislation

Section 268.75 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) is National War Crime Taking Hostages and is extracted below.

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268.75  War crime—taking hostages

(1)  A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:

(a)  the perpetrator seizes, detains or otherwise holds hostage one or more persons; and

(b)  the perpetrator threatens to kill, injure or continue to detain the person or persons; and

(c)  the perpetrator intends to compel the government of a country, an international organisation or a person or group of persons to act or refrain from acting as an explicit or implicit condition for either the safety or the release of the person or persons; and

(d)  the person or persons are not taking an active part in the hostilities; and

(e)  the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances establishing that the person or persons are not taking an active part in the hostilities; and

(f)  the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an armed conflict that is not an international armed conflict.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 17 years.

(2)  To avoid doubt, a reference in subsection (1) to a person or persons who are not taking an active part in the hostilities includes a reference to:

(a)  a person or persons who are hors de combat; or

(b)        civilians, medical personnel or religious personnel who are not taking an active part in the hostilities.