Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea passed the evidence of the use of the Crimea’s population for the seizure of the military objects in 2014 by the Russian military men to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, as the prosecutor’s office reported.
The Ukrainian soldiers could not use the weapon for the protection against attack in such conditions. The issue is about at least 10 military objects of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the involvement of at least 1,000 civilians.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the four categories of the civilians made the “human shields,” including the Crimeans with the pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian views, people transferred from Russia for the participation in the occupation of the peninsula, representatives of “Cossacks” and the so-called “Crimean self-defense”.
The seizure of the military and naval base in Novoozerne was illustrative. At least 300 people were involved in it, including men and women, teenagers and people of old age.
“In accordance with Article 8 of Rome Statute of the ICC, such actions should be qualified as the separate kind of the military crimes. Moreover, the intentional use of the civilian population for the cover of the military operations violates the commitment to assume all possible precautionary measures for the differentiation of the civilians' objects and military purposes,” Deputy Prosecutor Ihor Ponochovny noted.
The ban for the use of the “human shields” is enshrined in the Article 28 of IV Geneva Convention, Article 51 of the Optional Protocol to Geneva conventions and the 97th norm of the common international humanitarian law. The Prosecutor’s Office of Crimea holds the pretrial investigation.
The prosecutor’s office noted that the use of the civilians as the “human shields” within the armed conflicts is no unique. The use of the civilians during the active phase of the occupation in February-March 2014 differs from the common interpretation of this crime ie international practice. People with the pro-Russian views were among the population, which stood as the “human shields.” Their participation was welcomed as well as people, who gathered near the military objects after threats and blackmail.
As we reported the International Criminal Court in the Hague intends to finish the analysis of the war crimes in Crimea and Donbas soon and decide on the admissibility of the case.