Ukraine: Human rights group welcomes adoption of international crimes bill

21/05/2021
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Deputy Director, International Justice

Public Interventions
Kuchin Ster

The CivilMPlus platform, of which FIDH and its Ukrainian member organisation the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) are members, welcomes the adoption on 20 May 2021 by the Ukrainian parliament of the draft law No. 2689 implementing provisions of international criminal and humanitarian law.

By entering into force, the law will:
- Abolish a statute of limitations with regards to crimes of aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes;
- Allow reclassification of such crimes that had been investigated according to the general criminal code provisions;
- Allow for the universal jurisdiction with regards to such crimes. It means that prosecution and administration of justice can be done in any country regardless of the place of a committed crime, citizenship or a place of residence of a suspect or a victim.

It also means the hope for justice for victims of atrocities committed in Donbas since 2014 and for their relatives, as well as the hope for the inevitability of punishment for offenders.

"Adoption of this draft law sends a message to the occupied territory. Criminal responsibility is individual, and those who commit atrocities will suddenly realize that the situation may change and they will have to bear responsibility. This will save lives."

Olexandra Matviychuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties

For further information on previous advocacy efforts, see in particular:
- Joint letter to Ukrainian MPs, September 2020: https://fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/ukraine/rights-groups-call-on-ukraine-to-align-its-laws-with-international
- Joint letter to Ukrainian President, September 2019: https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/ukraine/icc-human-rights-group-calls-upon-ukraine-authorities-to-commit-to
- FIDH press statement, July 2016: https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/international-justice/international-criminal-court-icc/genuine-investigations-and-prosecutions-for-increasing-crimes

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