FIDH and CCL welcome Ukrainian extension of ICC jurisdiction

On 8 September 2015 Ukraine submitted a declaration under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute accepting the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed on its territory since 20 February 2014.

FIDH and its Ukrainian partner the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) welcome this development as an important step in fighting against impunity in Ukraine.

This is an essential step to ensure justice for all victims in Ukraine. The Prosecutor of the ICC is now able to investigate not only the Maidan events, but also crimes subsequently committed in other parts of Ukraine, in particular in Crimea and in the Donbass region,” said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

This is the second declaration under article 12(3) submitted by Ukraine. On 17 April 2014, Ukraine accepted ICC jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed on its territory between November 2013 and February 2014. FIDH and CCL then submitted a communication to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC contributing to the preliminary investigation last January. During several missions to the country, the two organisations had called for an extension of ICC jurisdiction, highlighting the very serious crimes committed in the East after the Maidan events that had been left out of the scope of the ICC preliminary examination. This second 12(3) declaration widens the scope of ICC jurisdiction to all crimes committed after February 2014 on Ukrainian territory.

The Ukrainian government has shown that it is willing to move forward towards peace and reconciliation. This declaration gives the ICC the power to investigate all alleged perpetrators of serious crimes committed in Ukraine, on both sides of the conflict,” said Oleksandra Matviychuk, director of CCL. We hope that the next step for Ukraine will be to ratify the Rome Statute.”

The ICC Prosecutor may now establish whether “there is a reasonable basis to believe” that war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide have been committed in Ukraine since November 2013, and whether to request the opening of an investigation into this situation.

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