perfidyˈpɜr fɪ di
perfidy, perfidiousness, treachery (noun)
betrayal of a trust
treachery, betrayal, treason, perfidy (noun)
an act of deliberate betrayal
A state or act of violating faith or allegiance; violation of a promise or vow, or of trust reposed; faithlessness; treachery.
Specifically, in warfare, an illegitimate act of deception, such as using symbols like the Red Cross or white flag to gain proximity to an enemy for purposes of attack.
A state or act of deceit.
In the context of war, perfidy is a form of deception, in which one side promises to act in good faith with the intention of breaking that promise once the enemy has exposed themselves. The practice is specifically prohibited under the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, which states: 1. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy. The following acts are examples of perfidy: The feigning of an intent to negotiate under a flag of truce or of a surrender; The feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness; The feigning of civilian, non-combatant status; and The feigning of protected status by the use of signs, emblems or uniforms of the United Nations or of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict. Perfidy was part of the customary laws of war long before the prohibition of perfidy was included in Protocol I. For example in Hague IV: Laws and Customs of War on Land, Article 23 includes:
In the context of war, perfidy is a form of deception in which one side promises to act in good faith (such as by raising a flag of truce) with the intention of breaking that promise once the unsuspecting enemy is exposed (such as by coming out of cover to take the "surrendering" prisoners into custody). Perfidy constitutes a breach of the laws of war and so is a war crime, as it degrades the protections and mutual restraints developed in the interest of all parties, combatants and civilians.
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