Cover Image
close this bookMeasures Available to States for Fulfilling their Obligation to Ensure Respect for International Humanitarian Law (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1994, 20 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentGeneral remarks
View the documentMeasures to exert diplomatic pressure
View the documentCoercive measures that States may take themselves
View the documentPossible measures of retortion
View the documentPossible unarmed reprisals
View the documentMeasures in cooperation with international organizations
View the documentContribution to humanitarian efforts
View the documentProtecting Powers
View the documentConclusion
View the documentARTICLES SUBMITTED FOR PUBLICATION IN THE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF THE RED CROSS

Possible measures of retortion

a) Expulsion of diplomats.

For instance, during the hostages affair at the United States embassy in Tehran (1979-1980), the United States expelled some of the Iranian diplomatic personnel posted in Washington.

b) Severance of diplomatic relations.

Soon after the aforementioned decision, the United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran.

c) Halting ongoing diplomatic negotiations or refusing to ratify agreements already signed.

The American Senate refused to examine the SALT II agreements, already signed by the USSR and the United States, following the invasion of Afghanistan (1979).

d) Non-renewal of trade privileges or agreements.

The United States decided, in 1981, not to renew its bilateral maritime agreement with the USSR and to introduce restrictions on the admission of its vessels to American ports as from January 1982, following the repression in Poland.

e) Reduction or suspension of public aid to the State in question.

As a reaction to militia killings and other human rights violations in Suriname, the Netherlands in December 1982 suspended implementation of a 10 to 15-year aid programme to that country.