PEN calls for extraterritorial justice after Amelina’s injury


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PEN Ukraine and Truth Hounds, an organization that documents violations of human rights, have called on citizens of all countries to use extraterritorial justice mechanisms to bring justice to all victims of russia’s war crimes. This is stated in a joint statement of the organizations regarding the russian missile attack on Kramatorsk.


“On June 27th, 2023, russia committed another war crime, sending an Iskander missile with a highly explosive warhead at Ria Lounge restaurant in Kramatorsk, a city in the Eastern part of Ukraine. At least 12 people are confirmed dead, and 60 are wounded. Three children were among the dead, including two twin 14-year-old girls. Among the people severely wounded in this crime is our dearest colleague Victoria Amelina: a brilliant award-winning, worldwide known Ukrainian writer and human rights activist,” the statement reads.


After the attack on Kramatorsk, representatives of Truth Hounds, which the writer Amelina joined at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, interviewed eyewitnesses of the shelling. They testified that there were no military targets near the site of the attack. At the time of the strike, about 40 people were having lunch in one of the city’s most popular restaurants. The investigators also identified that the foreigners, whom russian propaganda called mercenaries, actually were volunteers and journalists.


“In our opinion, the attack on the Ria Lounge restaurant may qualify as a war crime pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Alternatively, such an attack may be qualified under Article 8(2)(b)(i) or Article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the Rome Statute of the ICC,” human rights organizations emphasize.


In their view, the russian state in its current form poses a global threat, as it has been and is involved in numerous conflicts across the globe, either directly and in a hybrid way.


“PEN Ukraine and Truth Hounds appeal to the citizens of all countries, human rights and cultural organisations of the world: use every platform to spread the information about russia’s crimes and call on your national governments to activate extraterritorial justice mechanisms in order to bring justice to all victims of war crimes. Let’s put an end to russia’s impunity together!” the organizations called.


The statement emphasized that the case of punishing russian criminals is not only about Ukrainians, but also about all of humanity and its values.


As is known, Victoria Amelina was injured during the russian shelling of Kramatorsk.


Read also: Victoria Amelina: No words are needed after a tragedy, all words slide into a whirlpool


Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine