Week-ending 18 December 2020
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has found reasonable grounds for believing war crimes and crimes against humanity have been ‘committed in the context of the situation in Ukraine.’
Human Rights in Ukraine, Saturday, 12 December 2020: The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court [ICC], Fatou Bensouda has found reasonable grounds for believing that war crimes and crimes against humanity, falling within ICC jurisdiction, “have been committed in the context of the situation in Ukraine”. Such crimes, in connection with the conflict in Donbas and with Russia’s ongoing occupation of Crimea are sufficiently grave, she writes, to warrant investigation by the ICC. This is a long-awaited, and very important, move, one that human rights groups have helped to achieve, by providing the Office of the Prosecutor with detailed information about enforced disappearances; torture and extrajudicial killings; Russia’s persecution of Crimean Tatars and other Ukrainians in occupied Crimea; its conscription and militarization and multiple other violations of international law. They have also presented witness testimony and evidence of civilian targets in Donbas having been shelled from Russian territory; of civilians being used as human shields in occupied Crimea (and Donbas), and much more. There is also, of course, ample proof that civilian airliner MH17 was downed by a Russian Buk missile which had been brought from a military unit in Kursk (Russia) and was hurriedly returned to Russia after the disaster that killed 298 people, including 80 children.
Amnesty International , Saturday, 12 December 2020: On Friday 11 December, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor announced that she has concluded her preliminary examination in Ukraine and will seek a full investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine. These include murder and torture committed during the ‘EuroMaidan’ protests in 2013 - 2014, and war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all sides to the conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014, and in Crimea after the peninsula’s Russian occupation and illegal annexation in 2014.