International Criminal Court - Ten years of fight against impunity
Press Release - Brussels, 29 Jun 2012
On Sunday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) will celebrate its tenth anniversary. Barbara Lochbihler, chair of the Subcommittee for Human Rights and the "Friends of the ICC" in the European Parliament, comments:
As the only permanent court dealing with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the world, the ICC occupies an outstanding position in the international fight against impunity. At last, we can rely on an impartial institution whenever national political and justice systems prove unwilling or unable to investigate and condemn these severe and often cross-border crimes.
The court's first final verdict, recently spoken against the former Congolese rebel leader Lubanga, proves that even the most powerful perpetrators can't hide behind their office or their military strength anymore. This is a tremendous success and should be an additional reason for states such as the USA, China and Russia to at last adhere to the ICC.
The number of court cases is set to increase in the future, which also means that the ICC will have to top up its protection and support of victims on the ground. At the same time, I hear reports that several ICC member states would be planning to cut their financial contribution to the court in The Hague. I strongly urge member states not to do so! Indeed, the fight against impunity is of utmost importance worldwide – in normal as much as in times of financial and economic turmoil.
Assistant to Barbara Lochbihler, MEP
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