ICJ condemns the outrageous murder of ICRC delegates in Chechnya

The ICJ expresses total shock and utter dismay over the brutal and outrageous murder of six delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Novye Atagi, near Grozny, in Chechnya, yesterday.

This revolting criminal act strikes at the heart of international humanitarian work. It constitutes a direct attack against the historic mandate of the ICRC to bring impartial relief to the victims of armed conflicts. It is to be vigorously condemned and represents a most regrettable and dangerous precedent.

The attack constitutes a clear and vicious violation of international humanitarian law protecting the ICRC and its delegates:

  • Article 12 of Protocol II Additional to the Geneva Conventions and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts provides that the emblem of the Red Cross shall be respected in all circumstances. This obligation is absolute and applies at all times and in all places;
  • Article 9 and Article 11 of Protocol II provide that medical personnel shall be respected and protected and shall not be the object of attack; and,
  • Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, provides that each party to the conflict is prohibited, inter alia, from perpetrating acts of violence to life and person, in particular the murder of persons taking no active part in the hostilities.

The ICJ calls upon the international community to react proportionately to the gravity of the event and to reaffirm the utmost importance and sacrosanct nature of the work of the ICRC. The ICJ also calls upon all parties to the conflict to promptly find and bring to justice those responsible for this atrocity.

The ICJ joins the ICRC in mourning the loss of their six delegates and hereby sends its condolences to their families and colleagues.

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