Human rights activists send to ICC evidence of crimes against humanity in occupied Crimea

Дата: 17 November 2016
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The international and Ukrainian human rights activists have sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) the report “International crimes in Crimea: An assessment of two and a half years of Russian occupation.” The report describes the facts of crimes against the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians.

This is reported by the Human Rights Information Centre correspondent.

According to Director of the International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) Brigitte Dufour, the human rights activists gathered the information about the crimes from the reports of the international organizations, which had access to the peninsula, as well as from the journalistic investigations.

The important fact is that these crimes are large-scale and systematic. It is a pattern, which has been implemented in Crimea for two years. That is why the evidence was sent to the International Criminal Court, in accordance with Article 15 of the Rome Statute,” she said.

The human rights activists describe the facts of 7 murders, 15 forced disappearances, 90 cases of illegal detentions in custody, 39 cases of torture and / or other forms of inhumane treatment, seizure of public and private property. The human rights activists also point to the forced displacement from the peninsula of almost 60,000 civilians.

IPHR project manager and lawyer Simon Papuashvili stressed that no one had been punished for the crimes committed during the two years on the occupied peninsula.

Our task is to break the vicious circle of impunity and to bring to justice those who deserve it,” he said.

The human rights activists want the ICC Office of Prosecutor to launch the investigation into crimes in Crimea. Simon Papuashvili predicts that this will take two years.

The lawyer also said that the human rights defenders were not only trying to make the investigation of crimes start, but also want to use universal jurisdiction, having activated the investigations in other countries.

There are 14 countries in the EU, which can implement cases with universal jurisdiction. This means that if a Russian citizen, for example, from Saint-Petersburg commits an international crime on the territory of Crimea, the universal jurisdiction in France, Belgium, Germany, allows to initiate an investigation and to recognize evidence sufficient to ensure that this person is arrested and punished as soon as enters the territory of the universal jurisdiction,” he explained.

In addition, the human rights activists have tried to qualify in their report the crimes under international criminal law, trying to outline the circle of people responsible for the crime.

The report was compiled by such organizations as Truth Hounds, Crimea SOS, and Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights.

The report can be viewed here.

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