On 31 January 2005, the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia sentenced retired General Pavle Strugar of the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army to eight years in prison for war crimes perpetrated in 1991. He has been found guilty of war crimes against the civilian population and, under Article 3(d) of the Tribunal’s Statute, of the destruction of and wilful damage to a number of historical and cultural sites located in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, in Croatia, a site inscribed on the List of World Heritage since 1979. This Judgement illustrates clearly how destruction of, and damage to, world heritage sites under the 1972 UNESCO Convention can be sanctioned under international humanitarian law.
Damaged by the armed conflict of the 1990s, the Old City of Dubrovnik became the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO. In 1991, the city was immediately included on the List of World Heritage in Danger in order to draw international attention to the situation and carry out the necessary emergency protection measures. With UNESCO providing technical advice and financial assistance, the Croatian Government restored the facades of the Franciscan and Dominican cloisters, repaired roofs and rebuilt palaces. As a result, in December 1998, it became possible to remove the city from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Today, the World Heritage Centre continues to provide international assistance to the site, most recently by financing two meetings of the Consultative Council of Experts for the Restoration of Dubrovnik.
The judgements and Press Releases of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia can be consulted at the following address: