Advocacy update

Justice Initiative Welcomes ICC Arrest Warrant for Putin

March 17, 2023
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NEW YORK—Following the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the international community should do everything in its power to execute it, the Open Society Justice Initiative said today. The arrest warrant alleges that the Russian leader was involved in the unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia. An arrest warrant on similar allegations was also issued for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation.

“The ICC’s arrest warrant against Putin is a heartening sign that even the most powerful war criminals can be held accountable,” said James A. Goldston, executive director of the Justice Initiative. “His arrest will now depend on the efforts of the international community—which should also continue its cooperation to hold the President and senior Russian officials responsible for the most egregious crime of all, that of the illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

The Justice Initiative continues to endorse efforts to establish a special tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine. In May 2022, it published a model indictment against Putin and six other senior Russian officials to demonstrate that it is feasible to build a solid case against them for the initiation, planning, preparation, and execution of acts of aggression against Ukraine starting on February 24, 2022.

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