Arrest of Lukashenka seems difficult but possible
15:41, — Politics
The West has opportunities and tools to arrest the Belarusian dictator and his cronies.
To do this the western countries need proper conditions and political will. Harry Pahanyaila, the head of the legal department of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC), talks to charter97.org about the prpoposal of Andrew Friedman, an international human rights lawyer, to use the International Criminal Court to fight against dictators.
“The idea to judge tyrants, including the Belarusian one, is very good. But as far as we speak about the International Criminal Court with the Rome Statute, it has not been ratified by Belarus, so the country does not fall within its jurisdiction. On the other hand, the international criminal law has a definition of the universal criminal jurisdiction,” the lawyer says.
He adds that the legislation allows to bring citizens of other countries to responsibility for grave crimes, including torture, kidnapping and homicides.
“What concerns heads of state, we have a big problem. They have immunity from criminal prosecution under the Vienna Convention. Of course, there is a practice of bringing heads of state to responsibility for crimes against humanity and peace, genocide, but it is not used widely,” the human rights activist stressed.
The specialist says the countries as a rule refuse to apply the universal criminal jurisdiction to heads of state preferring to try them as ordinary citizens after expiration of their term in office.
“I would personally welcome the arrest of Lukashenka. It is not easy, but possible. The universal criminal jurisdiction can be applied by the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France. A criminal case against the Belarusian dictator can be initiated if these countries have proper conditions and political will. It is more real to do with his cronies: Sheiman, Sivakou, Paulyuchenka, Navumau and others. They don't have immunity,” Harry Pahanyaila said.
It should be reminded that Andrew Friedman, an international human rights lawyer, wrote on Bloomberg's website about using the International Criminal Court to fight against dictators.
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