European nations coordinate on prosecuting Russian conflict crimes in Ukraine

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European nations convened within the Netherlands on Thursday to coordinate ongoing efforts to punish Russian conflict crimes in Ukraine.

A number of European international locations have opened investigations into Russia’s ongoing invasion, and Ukraine itself has opened greater than 15,000 probes into alleged conflict crime incidents.

The Worldwide Felony Court docket (ICC) has already opened an investigation into Russia, and its chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, is asking for an “overarching strategy” amongst nations trying to maintain Russia accountable.

“The simple truth is that, as we speak, children, women and men, the young and the old, are living in terror,” Khan stated in opening remarks on the Ukraine Accountability Convention in The Hague.

Bodies lie in a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022. Ukrainian troops are finding brutalized bodies and widespread destruction in the suburbs of Kyiv, sparking new calls for a war crimes investigation and sanctions against Russia.

Our bodies lie in a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022. Ukrainian troops are discovering brutalized our bodies and widespread destruction within the suburbs of Kyiv, sparking new requires a conflict crimes investigation and sanctions in opposition to Russia.
(AP Photograph/Rodrigo Abd)

Russian army Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, 21, is seen behind a glass during a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, May 13, 2022. The trial of a Russian soldier accused of killing a Ukrainian civilian opened Friday, the first war crimes trial since Moscow's invasion of its neighbor. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Russian military Sergeant Vadim Shishimarin, 21, is seen behind a glass throughout a courtroom listening to in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Could 13, 2022. The trial of a Russian soldier accused of killing a Ukrainian civilian opened Friday, the primary conflict crimes trial since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor. (AP Photograph/Efrem Lukatsky)

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“They’re suffering in Ukraine and in so many different parts of the world,” Khan stated. “Grieving about what they lost yesterday, holding their breath about what they could lose today, and what tomorrow can bring. At a time like this, the law cannot be a spectator.”

The U.S. has condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin as a conflict felony, accusing him of ordering the homicide and torture of Uranian civilians.

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Whereas the U.S. will not be instantly concerned in conflict crimes investigations, it has landed help to ongoing probes elsewhere. The ICC is working in a Be part of Investigation Workforce alongside Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian prosecutors. The European Union’s authorized department, Eurojust, can be collaborating within the effort.

The U.S. State Division despatched human rights envoy Uzra Zeya as a consultant to Thursday’s convention at The Hague.

“With each day, the war crimes mount. Rape, torture, extrajudicial executions, disappearances, forced deportations. Attacks on schools, hospitals, playgrounds, apartment buildings, grain silos, water and gas facilities,” Zeya stated. “These are not the acts of rogue units — they fit a clear pattern across every part of Ukraine touched by Russia’s forces.”

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It’s unclear what actions the ICC might take in opposition to Russia following the investigations, nevertheless. Russia is a sovereign nation and isn’t a member of the ICC. Any penalties for the regime could take the type of additional financial sanctions.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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