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Brussels NGO issues complaint against Patriarch Kirill

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Patriarch Kirill should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), says the NGO HRWF in a detailed report

HRWF’s (Human Rights Without Frontiers) contribution calls for the investigation by the International Criminal Court on the potential criminal liability of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church for aiding and abetting the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The NGO responsible for the report, HRWF, was founded by its director Willy Fautré and worked with the human rights specialized attorney Patricia Duval.

Kiril and Putin 1024x641 - Brussels NGO issues complaint against Patriarch Kirill
Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian Orthodox Church has often been accused of serving the interests of the State. Photo: NovayaGazeta.ru 

Human Rights Without Frontiers, a Brussels-based NGO, appeals to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim A. A. Khan QC, to hold personally accountable and prosecute Vladimir Mikhaïlovitch Goundiaïev,  known as Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, for:

for inspiring, inciting, justifying, aiding and abetting war crimes (Art. 8 of the Rome Statute) and crimes against humanity (Art. 7) perpetrated and being perpetrated by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine.”

According to Fautre and Duval, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently “busy documenting and evidencing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, and identifying the perpetrators to be held accountable for the said crimes. The prosecution of Patriarch Kirill falls within Article 25 of the Rome Statute – Individual criminal responsibility”

The article mentioned by HRWF provides:

In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person: (…) (c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;

On 7 April 2002, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution about “the increasing repression in Russia, including the case of Alexei Navalny,” in which it condemned the role of Moscow Patriarch Kirill in Russia’s war against Ukraine.:

“Condemns the role of Moscow Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in providing theological cover for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine; praises the courage of the 300 priests of the Russian Orthodox Church who signed a letter condemning the aggression and expressed their grief over the ordeal of the Ukrainian people, calling for an end to the war.”[i]

You can read the full complaint and documentation on the web of HRWF, which concludes welcoming “the opening of an investigation on possible crimes committed in Ukraine under the Rome Statute” and also welcoming “the investigation to identify the perpetrators, including possibly going up the command chain to President Vladimir Putin” among other conclusions.

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