The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has launched investigations into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country.
Karim Khan on Thursday called on people currently in the war zone to report information on possible crimes to the court in The Hague.
The ICC’s top prosecutor is now planning to contact all parties involved in the conflict. He also called on all sides to to abide by the rules of international law.
Khan had announced his decision to open investigations on Wednesday evening. “No individual in the Ukraine situation has a licence to commit crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” he said in a statement.
The prosecutor said that the investigation was launched following referrals from 39 ICC state parties, including Germany, Britain and Georgia.
The prosecution is now looking into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Ukraine since November 2013.
This includes the bloody suppression of pro-European protests in 2013-2014, the occupation of Crimea in 2014 and fighting in eastern Ukraine since then, as well as possible crimes since Russia’s invasion, which began last week.
The prosecutor had already established that there was a legal basis for criminal proceedings in a preliminary investigation before the invasion started.
Ukraine is not a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC but the country has accepted the court’s jurisdiction to try war crimes and crimes against humanity on its territory, according to the prosecutor. Russia does not recognize the court.