UN: Co-ordinated international efforts needed to investigate international crimes in Marioupol

The ICJ today delivered a statement before the UN Human Rights Council calling for co-ordinated international efforts to ensure collection of evidence and the independent investigation of crimes under international law in Mariupol, and throughout Ukraine.

The statement reads as follows:

“Mr President,

The Russian Federation’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, an act of aggression constituting a crime under international law, has led to a human rights crisis that is particularly grave in Russian occupied Mariupol.

Following extensive destruction of infrastructure and large-scale civilian killings in the city, thousands of bodies have been buried in spontaneous burial places or remain unburied, and water supplies are contaminated.

The failure to ensure essential sanitation, safe drinking water and healthcare, leaves an estimated 100,000 inhabitants at serious risk of disease. This violates the Russian Federation’s international law obligations to guarantee the rights to water, sanitation and health, and housing as well as its obligations as an occupying power under IHL.

This situation follows the Russian siege of the city with indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks and attacks targeting civilian objects, including residential destruction of medical facilities and killings of medical personnel, in violation of IHL.

Attacks against Mariupol Maternity and Children’s Hospital, and the Mariupol Drama Theatre, where civilians including children had taken refuge, have been identified by the OSCE Moscow Mechanism report as clear violations of IHL and war crimes.

Co-ordinated international efforts are needed to ensure the collection of evidence and the independent investigation of these crimes in Mariupol, and throughout Ukraine, so that those responsible are brought to justice.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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