Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
Practice Relating to Rule 59. Improper Use of the Distinctive Emblems of the Geneva Conventions
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Emblem Law (1996) prohibits the wearing or use of the emblem of the red cross as a protective sign, during war, imminent danger of war or state of emergency, without being entitled to do so.
According to the Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the 1991 Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles extended the prohibition of improper use of the distinctive emblem to internal conflicts and can thus be considered as the opinio juris
of the six republics of the former Yugoslavia on the applicability of the rule in internal armed conflicts. According to the report, during the armed conflicts in Slovenia and Croatia, which involved the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA), the distinctive emblem was flagrantly misused. The YPA did not deny these practices and actually admitted two such cases during the conflict in Slovenia. The first case involved the transport of YPA personnel released from prison in Slovenia carrying their personal weapons with them. The second case involved the transport of members of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to Slovenia for negotiations with the Slovenian authorities.