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Peculiarities of the legal status of a police officer during an armed conflict

Tsvetkov Aleksei Olegovich

PhD in Law

Police captain

644032, Russia, g. Omsk, ul. 2-Ya solnechnaya, 30A

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Abstract: The article considers the problem of the police involvement in an armed conflict with non-typical combat tasks. In the case of war, police officers can act for one of the operating forces. A party to a conflict, which uses police among its forces, must inform the opponent about it. During a military conflict, police personnel becomes a legal military target, therefore the actions, aimed at damaging the life and health of a police officer, are no longer considered as a crime. The author arrives at the conclusion that the activities of the police during an armed conflict are not only characterized by the contradiction between the international and Russian legislation, in which, correspondingly, police can’t be a party to a conflict, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs is among the structures used for the national defence during an armed conflict with external and internal enemies. A police officer, participating in an armed conflict on the territory of the Russian Federation, is a legal combatant; in case he is taken by the adversary, he is considered as a prisoner and not as a hostage. According to the international law, police can’t be a belligerent party, therefore weapon employment by a police officer can cause legal consequences, unless it comes within the provisions of article 23 chapter 5 of the Law on Police. In the context of the problem, the question about legislative initiative for treating police officers as members of armed forces becomes vexed, in terms of recognition of police officers as legal combatants during their participation in an armed conflict, with the corresponding guarantees and compensation for imprisoned police officers and their family members. 

Keywords: combatants, polis oficer, the right to the prisoner, army, militari conflict, Geneva Convention, The police, international law, war, the defense of the state
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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