We appeal to the President of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Parliament to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) without delay.
Representatives of the Russian Federation, committing armed aggression in Ukraine, are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity almost every day. Attacks on the civil population, use of civilians as a human shield, forced mobilization, use of prohibited weapons, tortures, destruction of cultural heritage, and much more – these are not just acts of terrorism, as per classification by Ukrainian Public Prosecutor’s Office, these are international crimes with no statute of limitations on claims.
Many civil servants, ordinary people, journalists, politicians, activists and members of the armed forces appeal to The Hague as the symbol of justice with the hope that these crimes will be investigated and those guilty of crimes will be punished.
On the 2nd of March 2022, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson announced that 38 countries addressed the ICC regarding the immediate start of the investigation of international crimes in Ukraine, which was the biggest submission in the history of the ICC. At the same time, the ICC prosecutor announced the immediate investigation of the committed crimes.
However, until today, Ukraine has not ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which will constantly create obstacles in these investigations and during the trial in the future. The ratification will allow Ukraine to significantly accelerate the work procedures of the ICC.
As of today, we do not see any logical reason for Ukraine to not ratify the Rome Statute and believe the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine must ratify it immediately. It will provide a clear signal to everyone that all international crimes in Ukraine will be investigated and people responsible for them prosecuted sooner or later.
We urge the President of Ukraine to sign the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine on the Implementation of International Criminal and Humanitarian Legal Provisions” (Bill No. 2689), passed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine back in May 2021. As of now, the Criminal Code of Ukraine does not define a list of international crimes, which are being committed by the representatives of the Russian Federation which will create substantial obstacles in holding the responsible people accountable.
There is a need to transform declarations into actions to hold those who commit international crimes in Ukraine accountable.
We don’t want the statements of the prosecution to remain declarations.
We believe that all the victims of international crimes, committed on the territory of Ukraine, deserve justice.
This important task gives us a chance that these crimes will no longer be repeated and the guilty persons will sooner or later be held accountable.
The appeal is open for signatories:
Center of civil liberties
Ukrainian Helsinki Group
NGO Crimean center of business and cultural cooperation “Ukrainian House”
NGO “Truth Hounds”
Human Rights Center ZMINA
Center of civil education “Almenda”
NGO “Vector of human rights”
NGO School of Mediapatriots
Kharkiv regional foundation “Civil Society Alternative”
Crimean human rights group
NGO “Culture against boorishness”
Regional center of human rights
Union of relatives of political prisoners of the Kremlin
Platform for freedom of political prisoners
Kharkiv human rights group