May 27, 2022

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At the United Nations, Amal Clooney lobbies for justice for war crimes in Ukraine

At the United Nations, Amal Clooney lobbies for justice for war crimes in Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney urged countries at the United Nations on Wednesday to focus on international justice for war crimes in Ukraine so that evidence is not stored as it has done for victims of the Islamic State group. ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.

“Today’s Ukraine is a slaughterhouse. Right in the heart of Europe,” Clooney told an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council on accountability in Ukraine organized by France and Albania.

Clooney recalled the 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 potential international crimes committed by the Islamic State in Iraq. This was the same year that her son and daughter were born with American actor George Clooney.

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

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

Clooney is part of an international legal task force advising Ukraine on securing accountability for Ukrainian victims in national jurisdictions and working with the International Criminal Court based in The Hague.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, opened an investigation into Ukraine a week after the Russian invasion on February 24. Read more

“This is a time when we need 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 humanity,” Khan said. United Nations meeting.

Russian diplomat Sergei Leonidchenko described the ICC as a “political tool”. He accused the United States and Britain of hypocrisy in supporting the International Criminal Court’s investigation into Ukraine after doing “everything imaginable to protect their military”.

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

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office Irina Venediktova told Reuters it is preparing to bring war crimes charges against at least seven Russian military personnel. Read more

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Reported by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Richard Boleyn

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.