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Lawyer: European Court of Human Rights judgement on Crimea may prompt ICC to issue warrants for crimes committed before 2022

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The decision of the European Court of Human Rights on Crimea, which found Russia responsible for numerous human rights violations, may prompt the International Criminal Court to issue warrants for crimes committed before 2022.

This was stated by Mykyta Petrovets, a lawyer at the Regional Centre for Human Rights, on Hromadske Radio.

As reported, on June 25, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously adopted a decision holding Russia responsible for violations of human rights and freedoms in the temporarily occupied Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

A Hromadske Radio source called the decision a historic victory for Ukraine:

«This is what we will write about in textbooks, this is what Ukrainian children will read about. For its part, the Russian Federation has lost the cases related to Crimea. The responsibility of the Russian Federation for an extremely large number of human rights violations in Crimea was established on the basis of an international decision.»

The expert also assessed the prospects and further significance of the ECHR judgment. Firstly, it will be important directly for the victims mentioned in the judgment.

«It will also potentially have a stimulating role for the International Criminal Court, as it may finally push it to consider the situation with the issuance of arrest warrants for events before 2022. So far, we have only one arrest warrant after the year 2022, although this is unclear, as the ICC Prosecutor’s Office has already acknowledged in principle that these crimes were committed.

Obviously, this is also a general contextual framework. Anything that concerns Crimea, Russia’s violations in Crimea, people will refer to this ECHR judgment because it demonstrates a certain framework. The most likely thing is that any further violations will fit this framework», —  Petrovets said.

At the same time, he noted that in the context of further criminal court verdicts, the presumption of innocence should be kept in mind, but all the circumstances established by the European Court of Human Rights «must be taken into account and cannot be disregarded.

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