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Ukraine conflict sides’ actions may fall within ICC jurisdiction — UN

July 31, 2014, 20:52 UTC+3 GENEVA
"Both sides currently use heavy weapons against civilians, and this plane [MH17] was downed in an attack against civilians," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay
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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay

© AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

GENEVA, July 31. /ITAR-TASS/. The hostilities in Ukraine may fall within the International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, adding that she considered it “a real possibility.”

“Both sides currently use heavy weapons against civilians, and this plane [Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane, flight MH17 that crashed in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on July 17] was downed in an attack against civilians,” Pilay told ITAR-TASS on Thursday. According to her, the use of such weapons against civilians can be regarded as the “violation of international humanitarian law.” “When this happens, the international system of criminal justice should deal with it. Some counties have universal jurisdiction, and they can launch these proceedings,” the UN commissioner said.

Pillay said on Monday, releasing a new report on the situation in Ukraine that “already increasing numbers of people are being killed with serious damage to civilian infrastructure, which - depending on circumstances - could amount to violations of international humanitarian law,” she said. “The fighting must stop.”

On July 23, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that the developments in the east of Ukraine acquired the internal armed conflict nature. The qualification of the conflict thus allows the application of the norms of international humanitarian law, and in case of its serious violations the actions of the conflict sides may be qualified as war crimes, and the crime suspects may also be brought before the International Criminal Court.

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