Berkut officers target protesters with live ammunition and Molotov cocktails during the Euromaidan revolution. Photo: snapshot from video
Euromaidan SOS and the Law Advisory Group clarify reports on the Preliminary Examination dated November 12, 2015, of the International Criminal Court in Hague
Last week, certain Ukrainian and European media issued reports on recently published findings of the International Criminal Court in the Hague. According to those reports, the Court found that claimed criminal acts perpetrated during the mass protests in Ukraine from November 2013 to February 2014 were not crimes against humanity and, accordingly, Ukrainian claims to the contrary would not be accepted by the Court for consideration.
Euromaidan SOS and the Law Advisory Group consider it necessary to clarify those media reports since they do not accurately reflect the findings of the International Criminal Court.
The Court’s findings, published on November 12, 2015, were included in the Preliminary Examination Activities of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. This report contains the Prosecutor’s evaluation of pending cases before the Court for compliance with applicable requirements of the governing Rome Statute.
The report is a preliminary assessment of cases brought by Iraq, Palestine, Ukraine, Colombia, Honduras and Georgia, among others.
Such reports are published annually on behalf of the Court and reflect the current status of claims submitted to the Court by state governments and other representatives of civil societies.
These reports are based solely on information submitted to the Court. The Court does not in these cases independently collect evidence.
One of the findings of the Office of the Prosecutor was that information submitted to date by Ukraine lacks evidence of systematic and large scale attacks on the peaceful population during the Euromaidan protests– one of the key components of crimes against humanity, according to Article 7 of the Rome Statute.
Euromaidan SOS and the Law Advisory Group believe that the assessment of the Office of the Prosecutor is based, primarily, on the lack of sufficient evidence submitted to date demonstrating large-scale and systematic crimes against humanity during these mass protests.
This finding of insufficient evidence may be the result of inadequate investigative work by government officials (primarily the General Prosecutor’s Office).
Euromaidan SOS and the Law Advisory Group believe that these recent findings are not dispositive of Ukraine’s case and that there is still an opportunity for Ukraine to submit additional evidence to the Court.
It is important to recognize that the International Criminal Court draws its conclusions exclusively on the quality and completeness of incoming materials and does not independently gather evidence.
We urge the General Prosecutor of Ukraine to convey to the International Criminal Court proper objective evidence of the systematic and large-scale nature of the persecution of Euromaidan participants in Kyiv and other regions, based on the results of an official investigation.
Euromaidan SOS and the Law Advisory Group, together with other human rights organizations, have already begun to collect additional materials to be submitted to the International Criminal Court.
Objective information must be presented to the International Criminal Court demonstrating the scale of the attacks on peaceful protesters and providing a full picture of what happened during the Euromaidan protests.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to collect such information. That is why we ask lawyers, victims and relatives of victims to come forward with evidence of crimes committed to suppress these peaceful protests, such as the destruction of property, beatings, torture, kidnapping, murder, illegal arrests, mishandling of administrative and criminal cases, arbitrary or unlawful decisions on detention, etc. Please send relevant information by email to [email protected] or call 380507058672.
The full text of the report of the International Criminal Court can be found here.