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International Criminal Court as a tool to bring the Lukashenko regime to justice

Quotes from the report by the Programme Director of the International Partnership for Human Rights

The crimes of the Lukashenko regime have become evident to the world community — and they no longer affect only citizens of Belarus. Bringing perpetrators to justice is one of the priorities in our work. Simon Papuashvili, Program Director of the International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), spoke about how the International Criminal Court (ICC) can help in this regard at the NAM-organized legal conference in Nuremberg. Below are key quotes from his report.

  • "MPHR, Global Diligence, Truth Hounds and the Norwegian Helsinki Committee have appealed the ICC prosecutor to investigate the Lukashenko regime’s crimes against humanity.

  • "Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe or any other international justice mechanism. Nor is it a party to the ICC, and without a UN Security Council resolution, the ICC is only allowed to investigate and prosecute crimes committed on the territory of ICC member states or their nationals. But in September 2018, the ICC made a precedent-setting exception to this rule — on the situation in Myanmar. If a state not party to the ICC forces its citizens to flee to the territory of a state party to the organisation, it can treat such behaviour as a crime against humanity. In the case of Belarus, thousands of civilians were forced to flee to Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Ukraine — countries under the jurisdiction of the ICC.

  • "We apprehend further violence and bloodshed. The international community must do something to hold the regime accountable. With Russia on the UN Security Council, the only prospect left for international justice is the ICC. We ask for support for our efforts to have the case investigated by the ICC prosecutor — this can at least help contain the escalation of violence. And support from ICC member states in the form of a referral under the Rome Statute would bring the situation to the forefront and give the ICC additional incentive to act swiftly and decisively.

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