No peace plan without accountability for human rights

Ukrainian authorities should refer situation on the internationally recognised territory of Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC) until the state becomes a member of the ICC by acceding to the Rome Statute

Member and partner NGOs of the Human Rights House Network on 26 June 2014 wrote to  President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine calling upon him to to extend the mandate of the International Criminal Court investigations (taking into account events in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine) and to ratify the Rome Statute, in order to encourage such investigations, as an essential part of bringing peace to the country.

The NGOs welcome the repeated pledges of Ukrainian authorities to investigate all human rights violations committed since 29 November 2013 and hold those accountable, throughout the country and irrespective of which side the violator belongs to in the ongoing armed conflict in East Ukraine. The current situation of impunity must end.

The International Criminal Court is the only international body able to not only document grave human rights violations, amounting to core international crimes (war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide), but also investigate individuals responsible for such crimes. In order to restore peace and strengthen trust into State institutions, those responsible for such human rights violations have to be held accountable. We have for a long time called for a comprehensive reform of the judicial system in the country, which still remains to be initiated. Unfortunately, the national judicial system now shows its limits and in our view it is clear that it does not have the adequate knowledge, independence and resources to investigate all human rights violations since 29 November 2013 throughout the country.

The NGOs call upon the President and the Government of Ukraine, with no further delay, to issue a declaration to extend the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court from 21 November 2013 until the date of Ukraine’s accession to the Rome Statute either through appeal of the competent body of the Government or by adopting the Draft Law #4081a.

The NGOs further call upon the President and the Governemnt to:

  • Take all necessary measures to support the work of human rights NGOs, journalists and bloggers and other media, including by investigating any threats, intimidation, harassment and violence against them, including arbitrary detentions, abductions, attacks and killings;
  • Strongly and publicly acknowledge the important and legitimate role of human rights defenders in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law as an essential component of ensuring their protection;
  • Ensure that the reform process in the country, as well as all dialogue about the future of the country, is inclusive and transparent, giving space to civil society.

Signatories:

Human Rights House Kyiv (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement (Association UMDPL)
  • Centre for Civil Liberties
  • Human Rights Information Center
  • Institute of Mass Information
  • Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
  • La Strada Ukraine
  • Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Education Human Rights House Chernihiv (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Chernihiv Public Committee of Human Rights Protection
  • Center of Humnistic  Tehnologies “AHALAR”
  • Center of Public Education “ALMENDA”
  • Human Rights Center “Postup”
  • Local Non-governmental Youth organizations М’АRТ
  • Transcarpathian Public Center
  • Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Azerbaijan Human Rights House (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Association for Protection of Women’s Rights – APWR
  • Human Rights Centre
  • Legal Education Society
  • Media Rights Institute
  • Women’s Association for Rational Development (WARD)

Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House in exile, Vilnius

  • Belarusian Association of Journalists
  • Belarusian PEN Centre
  • Belarusian Helsinki Committee

Human Rights House Belgrade (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Belgrade Centre for Human Rights
  • Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Serbia
  • Human Rights House Belgrade and Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights –YUCOM

Free Word Centre London (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Index on Censorship
  • Vivarta

Human Rights House Tbilisi (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Article 42 of the Constitution
  • Caucasian Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Studies (CAUCASIA)
  • Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims
  • Media Institute
  • Human Rights Center
  • Union Sapari – Family Without Violence

Human Rights House Oslo (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Human Rights House Foundation
  • Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  • Health and Human Rights Info

Human Rights House Voronezh (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Charitable Foundation
  • Civic Initiatives Development Centre
  • Confederation of Free Labor
  • For Ecological and Social Justice
  • Free University
  • Golos
  • Interregional Trade Union of Literary Men
  • Lawyers for labor rights
  • Memorial
  • Ms. Olga Gnezdilova
  • Soldiers Mothers of Russia
  • Voronezh Journalist Club
  • Roronezh – Chernozemie
  • Youth Human Rights Movement

Human Rights House Yerevan (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor
  • Journalists’s Club Asparez
  • Public Information and Need of Knowledge – PINK

Human Rights House Zagreb (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • APEO / UPIM Association for Promotion of Equal Opportunities for People with Disabilities
  • B.a.B.e.
  • CMS – Centre for Peace Studies
  • Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Past
  • GOLJP – Civic Committee for Human Rights
  • Svitanje – Association for Protection and Promotion of Mental Health

The Rafto House in Bergen – Norway (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Rafto Foundation, Norway

The House of the Helsinki Foundation For Human Rights – Poland (on behalf of the following NGOs):

  • Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Poland

Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaijan

Legal Protection and Awareness Society, Azerbaijan

Public Union of Democracy Human Rights Resource Centre, Azerbaijan

Documents:

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