See all of Internment
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Tue Nov 27 2001 at 15:01:52
Preventing a ship from leaving port, or an aircraft from taking off, under
, in time of war. This can apply to military vessels or aircraft which end up in neutral countries by error, to refuel or in order to take refuge; for
s there is generally a time limit within which they are required to leave without making repairs which will affect their fighting value (other than making themselves seaworthy). It can also apply to civilian vessels or craft in enemy territory.
Detention of persons without trial.
As with ships and planes, this can occur under international law in times of war to military personnel who wind up in
s, crashed aircrew, shipwrecked sailors, deserters). A failure to apply this can be taken as a breach of neutrality, but it generally depends on
; small neutral countries surrounded by warring powers are more likely to be scrupulous about it than countries on the other side of the world from the action.
Again in time of war, in combatant countries it can apply to
: civilian nationals of enemy states, either those who happen to be in countries or occupied territories when the war starts, or others such as merchant seamen who are captured; although conditions are supposed to be more tightly controlled than they are for
prisoners of war
, this can often wind up being a
in all but name; established communities can suffer through the crass application of this principle, which led to the British imprisoning many anti-Nazi German refugees during
World War II
and the notorious American treatment of the
Outside time of (declared) war, the term has been used for the detention without trial in otherwise
societies of terrorist suspects, inter alia by the
in the 1970s and 1980s, and by the
in the period following the
events of September 11, 2001
. This is generally a highly contentious measure in a society where safeguards on
are considered of paramount importance. The term is not generally used in connection with
imprisonment without trial
regimes, although the precise legal nature of the distinction may be difficult to define. Such imprisonment is generally proscribed in peacetime under most international
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