At the UN, Amal Clooney calls for justice for war crimes in Ukraine


UNITED NATIONS, April 27 (Reuters) – Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Wednesday urged countries at the United Nations to focus on international justice for war crimes in Ukraine so evidence does not sit in the dumps – as it did for the victims of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.

“Ukraine is, today, a slaughterhouse. Right in the heart of Europe,” Clooney said at an informal UN Security Council meeting on accountability in Ukraine, hosted by France and Albania.

Clooney recalled a 2017 Security Council vote to approve a measure she helped lobby for – the creation of a UN team to collect, preserve and store evidence of possible international crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq. It was the same year that her son and daughter with American actor George Clooney were born.

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“My children are now almost 5 years old, and so far most of the evidence collected by the UN is in storage – because there is no international tribunal to try ISIS,” she said. .

The International Criminal Court (ICC), which deals with war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes of aggression, has no jurisdiction because Iraq and Syria are not members.

Clooney is part of an international legal task force that advises Ukraine on securing accountability for Ukrainian victims in national courts and works with the Hague-based ICC.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation into Ukraine a week after the February 24 Russian invasion. Read more

“This is a time when we have to mobilize the law and send it into battle. Not on the side of Ukraine against the Russian Federation, or on the side of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, but on the side of the humanity,” Khan said. the UN meeting.

Russian diplomat Sergey Leonidchenko described the ICC as a “political instrument”. He accused the United States and Britain of hypocrisy for supporting the ICC investigation in Ukraine after doing “everything imaginable to protect their own military”.

Moscow describes its February 24 invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” and denies targeting civilians.

Ukraine’s Attorney General Iryna Venediktova’s office told Reuters it was preparing war crimes charges against at least seven Russian servicemen. Read more

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols; edited by Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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