Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Practice Relating to Rule 47. Attacks against Persons Hors de Combat
Section B. Specific categories of persons hors de combat
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) states: “The armed forces are an instrument of force and [may be] the direct object of attack. It is permitted to kill, wound or disable their members in combat, except when they surrender or when due to wounds or sickness they are disabled for combat.”
The manual prohibits killing or injuring members of the armed forces as of the moment of surrender.
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, “a person who kills … the enemy who has laid down his arms or has surrendered unconditionally or has no means of defence” commits a war crime.
The commentary on the Penal Code specifies: “In the case of an armed conflict, it is irrelevant for this act whether it is international in nature or whether it is a civil war.”
Order No. 579 issued in 1991 by the Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia provides that YPA units shall “apply all means to prevent any … mistreatment of … persons who surrender or hoist the white flag in order to surrender”.