Human right activists: before The Hague Tribunal Yanukovych must stand together with Putin

Ukrainian case of beating protesters from 21th of November 2013 till 22th of February 2014 has good prospects in the International Criminal Court (ICC). This was stated by representatives of the ICC founding organization, the International Federation for Human Rights*.

The ICC has already experienced issuing a warrant for the arrest of the leaders, including the president of Sudan (for genocide), the head of Libya (for "intentional" killing of demonstrators), and the head of the Party of Democratic Republic of the Congo (for the exploitation of children under 15 in military conflicts).

In addition to principal officers, the representatives of law enforcement agencies can also be held responsible.

Olexandra Matviichuk, the Chairperson of the Board of Center for Civil Liberties, pointed out that now the main target for human right activists is to achieve from Ukrainian government the submission to the International Criminal Court, so that it, apart from the crimes on Maidan, would examine the situation in the Crimea and in the east of the country.

Tetyana Pechonchyk, the Head of the Human Rights Information Centre, believes that in face of The Hague Tribunal Yanukovych has to stand together with Putin. In fact the International Criminal Court deals not only with a crime against humanity but also with military crimes. "I believe that the day when the criminals will look to the sky in a cell is not far away. For this end, the Ukrainian government should do only one thing – to appeal to the International Criminal Court with a request to extend the period of investigation and to add in there not only the events of the February 22, but all that happened then"– she said.

The crimes investigation on Maidan should become a "matter of honour" for local law enforcement agencies, notes Tetyana Mazur, the Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ukraine. In fact it is still not known whether there are any suspects in these cases, how many of them, and if so, what precautions were applied to them. Foremost, the General Prosecutor’s Office should be interested in determination of the perpetrators from 21th of November 2013 until 22th of February 2014.

One of the main requirements of human rights organizations, which they put forward to the Parliament of Ukraine, is the ratification of the Rome Statute. Accomplish this there is registered in parliament bill № 4873 "On Amendment of the Article 124 of the Constitution of Ukraine" as to the recognition of the Rome Statute.

One of the bill authors, the Member of Parliament Yuriy Derevyanko, urged his colleagues from Verkhovna Rada to approve this document, because "it is not only about the responsibility of officials, but about the responsibility of other people who are who are conducive to split the Ukraine, killing people and chaos on our territory."

Whether the bill will be approved, now entirely depends on The Parliament of Ukraine. In turn, human rights organizations, including the Centre for Civil Liberties, Amnesty International in Ukraine, and the Information Centre for Human Rights will oversee the developments and by all means will remind the people’s representatives of the necessity of the Rome Statute ratification and the investigation of crimes against peaceful protesters.

*FIDH (the International Federation for Human Rights) was established as long ago as 1922. The purpose of its activity is to fight for the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms in the whole world. The organization has offices at the United Nations, European Union, the League of Arab States, other organizations, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) with intent to support member organizations in defending their positions in intergovernmental organizations, informs the international authorities about human rights violations and submits the specific cases for their consideration, participates in the development of international legal instruments, elaborates the strategies not only on definite topics, but also the strategies for specific countries.

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