Practice Relating to Rule 147. Reprisals against Protected Objects
Section C. Cultural property
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987), referring, inter alia
, to Article 53 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and Article 4 of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property, states: “By virtue of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, [reprisals] are prohibited with regard to … cultural property”.
Switzerland’s Regulation on the Ten Basic Rules for the Protection of Cultural Property (2013) states: “I may not engage in any kind of retaliation against CP [cultural property].”
Switzerland’s Law on the Protection of Cultural Property (1966) contains a provision which states, inter alia
: “Respect for cultural property involves … the prohibition of reprisals with regard to cultural property”.
Switzerland’s Law on the Protection of Cultural Property (1966), as amended in 2008, states:
1. The protection of cultural property, in the sense of the present law, includes the safeguarding and respect for cultural property in case of armed conflict.
3. The respect for cultural property comprises:
- prohibiting reprisals against cultural property.
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Cultural property includes movable and immovable objects that are important to the cultural heritage of humanity, and the buildings in which they are stored or displayed. In the event of an Armed conflict cultural property is accorded special protection under international law. Not only are hostile acts against cultural property prohibited, but it is also forbidden to make use of such property in support of military operations or as a target of Reprisals. …
Means and methods of warfare
Even in war not everything is allowed. Various means and methods are prohibited, including … Reprisals against the civilian population or against non-military objectives[.]
International humanitarian law does not include any general prohibition of reprisals. There are however numerous provisions that prohibit specific types of reprisal … Also prohibited are reprisals against certain specific objects such as cultural property and places of worship[.]