Ukraine: Urgent independent investigation into the MH17 crash needed

Press release
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Paris, 18 July 2014 - An impartial international investigation into the MH17 crash must take place as soon as possible, to establish facts and responsibilities, and to serve as a basis for prosecuting those responsible and provide reparations to victims.

The MH17 Malaysia Airlines plane was reportedly brought down by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday 17 July 2014, at around 17h30 local time, in the separatist-controlled Donetsk region of Ukraine. If this allegation is confirmed, it will constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law. Armed groups in the territory must abide by international law, and ensure respect to civilians and to civilian objects.

“An impartial international investigation must take place as soon as possible”, said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President. “Belligerents in the region must ensure international investigators immediate access to the crash site and to all evidence on the ground, including to the black boxes” , added Karim Lahidji.

“The tragedy reminds us that the conflict in eastern Ukraine is still ongoing. It should without delay trigger determined action from the international community to bring peace to the region and put an end to abuses against civilians" , said Tolekan Ismailova, FIDH Vice-President. 

On 17 April 2014, the Government of Ukraine formally requested the ICC exercise jurisdiction over the events from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014 in Ukraine. The tragedy demonstrates the importance of the extension of ICC jurisdiction post-22 February 2014, to cover the current situation on the entire territory of Ukraine. FIDH reiterares its call on the Ukrainian authorities to request such an extension and to ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC.

FIDH expresses condolences to the families of 298 killed passengers and crew members.

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