Even though the ICC has issued an arrest warrant, Russian President Vladimir Putin can still visit a number of major countries. Photos/Illustrations
WASHINGTON – Decision International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Mr Vladimir Putin theoretically isolates the President Russia that’s from two-thirds of the world. Even so, that still left a large number of countries that he could visit.
The arrest warrants for Putin, and Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, are linked to the forced deportation of wartime children from Ukraine to Russia, where many have been adopted by Russian families.
Forced deportation of residents is recognized as a crime under the Rome Statute, to which Russia was a signatory but withdrew in 2016. Since Moscow does not recognize the tribunal, it is unlikely that Putin or Lvova-Belova will be handed over to its jurisdiction.
But it sends a signal to senior Russian officials that they may face prosecution and limit their ability to travel abroad, including to attend international forums.
The director of the International Association for Justice at Human Rights Watch, Balkees Jarrah, said in a statement to Newsweek that the decision sends a clear message that giving orders to commit or tolerate serious crimes against civilians can lead to prison cells in The Hague.
The ICC decision issued on Friday means that the tribunal’s 123 member states must arrest the Russian president and transfer him to The Hague, Netherlands, for trial if he sets foot on their territory. However, with 193 UN member states, there are still 70 countries that are not under the auspices of the ICC.
The United States (US) participated in the negotiations that led to the creation of the ICC but in 1998 was one of seven countries that voted against the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the international tribunal.
However, the US sanctioned Putin on February 25, 2022, the day after he launched Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Other countries that challenged the Rome Statute were Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, Yemen and China.
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