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Partisan facts for kids

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RIAN archive 965 A guerrilla commander teaching his fighters to use weapons
A guerrilla commander teaching his fighters to use weapons, near Smolensk, in 1941

A partisan is an armed fighter, who is not part of the regular troops of a country or state. The term comes from Italian, where it meant member of a political party. There is no separate legal status for partisans in international law. The law of war uses four criteria to legally define someone as a prisoner of war, if the person is captured:

  1. There is someone at the head of the organisation, who assumes liability
  2. They can be identified by a sign or mark, which is visible from far away
  3. They carry their weapons openly
  4. They adhere to the customs and laws of war, during their operation.

In 1977, there were two additional protocols: They clarified that it is sufficient to carry the weapons openly only on some occasions, to be titled armed combatant.

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