It’s a bit of a joke among the Hague press corps that Friday night is ‘big announcement night’ for the International Criminal Court. And, just as many were closing up for the week, we got the news that judges had approved the prosector’s request for arrest warrants against two individuals – Russian president Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova the Russian childrens’ ombudsman/person. They’ve been charged with war crimes concerning the transfer of populations from Ukraine. And the press release highlighted specifically the transfer of children.
Since February last year when Russia invaded Ukraine, things have been going at a frenetic pace in The Hague. An investigation was launched in March – there’s been massive money, effort and coordination. We’ve been covering it all. Check out our podcasts on how the Hague will be the centre for accountability and others from our collection of Ukraine ‘casts’.
The particular choice of highlighting crimes against children in the court’s first arrest warrants in the Ukraine situation didn’t come as a huge surprise. In September last year, Khan told United Nations Security Council that the investigation of the alleged illegal deportation of children from Ukraine was a priority for him. But this is very quick by ICC standards and going to the top – the president – the Russian Head of State – makes it huge.
Janet and Stef bounced into action and as Janet was at a conference organised by the IBA War Crimes Committee, she pressed a few of the speakers to chat to her. So this is a bit of a quick fire immediate reaction podcast. Enjoy!
This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.