The general secretary of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamardheld this Friday the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Russian President Vladimir Putin. He indicated that those who are allegedly responsible for crimes under international law in Ukraine will be prosecuted, “no matter how powerful they are”.
“President Putin is officially a wanted man under the law”, expressed callamardstressing that while this is an “impressive first step”, the ICC is still limited in condemning only the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.
“This does not reflect the large number of war crimes for which the Russian administration is potentially responsible.”, he lamented, adding that he hopes that both the ICC and other international actors will soon be able to publish more arrest warrants for crimes in Ukraineas well as see their results.
In November 2022, Amnesty International published an investigation into these forced deportations of minors, which resulted in this arrest warrant for the Russian President and the Russian Federation Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Alexeievna Lvova-Belova.
“If President Putin or Ms Lvova-Belova leaves Russia, states must deny them asylum, immediately arrest them and hand them over to the ICC”, he sentenced Callamard.
“The international community must not stop until they are arrested and brought to trial.”, he added.
For its part, the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) applauded the measure issued by the ICC and stated that “It is a great day for the many victims of the crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine since 2014.″.
One of the heads of the HRW international justice office, Balkees Jarrah, stressed in a statement that since this Friday Putin is “a wanted man” and has seen in the order “a first step to end impunity” that has surrounded the Ukrainian conflict for years.
Meanwhile, numerous international leaders, such as the president of the United States, Joe Bidenor the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrellhave described the decision of the ICC as “justified” and “the beginning of the accountability process”, respectively.
Friday’s arrest warrants represent the first international charges filed since the start of the conflict and come after months of work by a special investigative team under chief prosecutor Karim khan. For its issuance it has been necessary for a preliminary panel of judges to accept the validity of the evidence presented.
(With information from Europa Press)
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