Civil society calls on Zelenskyy to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Dear Mr President!
On February 24, a new phase of the Russian Federation’s armed aggression against Ukraine began. In more than three weeks of a full-scale invasion, at least 816 civilians, including 112 children, have been killed in shelling and actions by Russian troops, nearly 10 million have been forced to flee their homes, and thousands of civilian infrastructure and housing have been destroyed. The Russian army is using heavy weapons in peaceful Ukrainian cities, indiscriminately shelling homes, hospitals, maternity hospitals, cultural and religious sites in Kharkiv, Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Sumy, Chernihiv and other cities. The cities of Mariupol, Volnovakha, Irpin, Bucha, Gostomel, Izyum, Okhtyrka, Chernihiv were almost destroyed – and, unfortunately, this list is not exhaustive.
From the very beginning of this new phase of armed aggression against Ukraine, human rights organizations members of Ukraine 5 AM Coalition have been recording daily dozens of episodes that could potentially be classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity and become the subject of the International Criminal Court investigation.
Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian army, and the Ukrainian government are courageously resisting Russia’s armed aggression on all possible fronts. At the same time, Ukraine still leaves the legislative front bare, thus narrowing its capacity to prosecute those involved in the most atrocious crimes during the war in Ukraine.
Mr President, on March 16, 2022, you had a meeting with the ICC Prosecutor Mr Karim Khan, during which you stressed that “no war crime or crime against humanity committed as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine should go unpunished. Everyone guilty should be brought to international legal and criminal responsibility – from the perpetrators to the military-political leadership of the aggressor country.”
But the national law must be amended to bring those guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice. It seems that there are no counter-arguments left as to the need to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and sign the Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Implementation of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law” №2689, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on May 20, 2021 year.
Mr President, members of the Ukraine 5 AM Coalition who directly documenting the crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, call on you to immediately sign the Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Implementation of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law” and initiate the process of ratification of the Rome Statute.
Do not leave any chance for impunity!
The “Ukraine. 5 AM Coalition ” has been documenting war crimes in Ukraine since the beginning of a full-scale invasion of the Russian military forces. The main tasks of the coalition are documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, informing the society in Ukraine and the international community about the most serious crimes during the Russian aggression in Ukraine, and preparing the database for tribunal over Putin and Lukashenka. The coalition currently consists of about 20 organisations, including ZMINA Human Rights Centre, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group, the Regional Human Rights Center, the Media Initiative for Human Rights, and others.ПІДПИСАТИ