Khan also said that two more of the global court’s member states, Japan and North Macedonia, have formally requested him to investigate in Ukraine, bringing the number of so-called state party referrals to 41.
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has opened an online portal to gather evidence of war crimes in Ukraine, as he renewed his call to combatants to abide by the laws of war, AP reports.
Prosecutor Karim Khan said in a written statement Friday that he is “closely following the deeply troubling developments in hostilities.” There have been reports in recent days of Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukrainian towns and cities, including the deadly strike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol earlier this week.
Khan notes in a written statement that “if attacks are intentionally directed against the civilian population: that is a crime. If attacks are intentionally directed against civilian objects: that is a crime. I strongly urge parties to the conflict to avoid the use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas.” He says there is no legal justification or excuse “for attacks which are indiscriminate, or which are disproportionate in their effects on the civilian population.”
Neither Russia nor Ukraine is an ICC member state, but Kyiv has recognized the court’s jurisdiction, allowing Khan to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
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