Last warning by International Criminal Court

Press release
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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) welcomes the report by the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which implies that unless Colombia makes major changes to its criminal policy, the Court will launch an investigation into international crimes committed in the country. For this reason, it considers relevant the ongoing preliminary analysis of the Colombian situation.

The 93-page report published yesterday emphasises themes being given particular attention by the ICC. FIDH notes with satisfaction that the Prosecutor’s Office plans to focus its preliminary analysis on the criminal liability of the upper echelons – whether it be the military, paramilitary, civil society or the guerrillas – in forced displacements, the "false positives" scandal, sex crimes and the promotion and expansion of paramilitarism.

"The tone of this report clearly shows that it is a last warning to the Colombian government, because if it doesn’t do what is necessary to end the impunity of those responsible at the highest level for these crimes, the ICC will open an investigation," commented Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH President.

The report also says that the Prosecutor’s Office will closely monitor the implementation of the measures contained in the legal framework for peace (marco jurídico para la paz) and will see to it that those responsible for crimes within its jurisdiction be put on trial. It also highlights the risks of the government’s constitutional reforms, which aim to extend military jurisdiction to serious human rights violations and offences under international human rights law.

FIDH calls on the Colombian authorities to take this warning seriously and to demonstrate real political commitment to prosecuting those responsible at the highest level for crimes against humanity committed in Colombia in the last ten years, and even today.

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