Practice Relating to Rule 89. Violence to Life
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) provides that wilful killing is a grave breach of IHL and a war crime.
Croatia’s Instructions on Basic Rules of IHL (1993) requires that the armed forces protect the lives and physical and mental integrity of persons hors de combat
, the wounded and sick, who must not be killed or wounded.
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997) provides that the killing of the civilian population, the wounded, sick, shipwrecked, medical or religious personnel or prisoners of war is a war crime.
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), as amended to 2006, states that it is a war crime to kill:
- the wounded, sick, shipwrecked persons or medical or religious personnel.
- prisoners of war.
The Criminal Code also states that “violat[ing] the rules of international law within an extensive or systematic attack against the civilian population and, with knowledge of such an attack, order[ing] the killing of another person” is a crime against humanity.
The Criminal Code moreover states that “the infliction of conditions of life so as to bring about the physical destruction in whole or in part of some civilian population which could lead to its complete extermination” is a crime against humanity.
The Criminal Code further states that an “intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, [or ordering] the killing of members of such a group” is an act of genocide.
In 2001, in its third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Croatia stated: “Even in the case of a direct threat to the existence of the State, the implementation of the constitutional provisions cannot be restricted regarding the right to life”.
In 2007, in its second periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Croatia stated:
70. Not even in the case of an immediate threat to the existence of the State may restrictions be imposed on the application of the provisions of the Constitution concerning the right to life …
73. … [I]n the Republic of Croatia there is no death penalty, and every human being has the right to life.