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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., identified as for the United States to sign up for the Worldwide Prison Court in gentle of Russia’s alleged war crimes in Ukraine, expressing that America’s refusal to join is “antithetical to our dedication to human rights.”
The Minnesota Congresswoman, who fled her dwelling state to escape the Somali Civil War when she was 8 several years outdated, launched bills final 7 days that would also codify the Condition Department’s Workplace of Worldwide Criminal Justice and repeal the Hague Invasion Act, which prohibits the United States from helping the Global Legal Court docket.
“Like quite a few of us, I have recoiled in horror at experiences of massacres, focusing on of civilians, mass graves, and rapes by Russian forces,” Omar reported in a statement. “Sadly, the U.S. is not occasion to the Global Legal Court docket, the principal entire body accountable for investigating and prosecuting these crimes.”
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The Netherlands-primarily based International Criminal Court docket was established 20 yrs ago by an global treaty to prosecute war crimes and other significant offenses.
The U.S. has very long stored the courtroom at arm’s-length, a posture that hardened underneath the Trump administration.
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But now that President Biden has named Putin a “war criminal” and claimed his invasion of Ukraine amounts to a “genocide,” Omar and other lawmakers say that the U.S. should be a part of the ICC.
“It would be staggeringly hypocritical to assistance an ICC investigation into Russia, whilst opposing the court’s pretty existence as a non-member,” Omar informed Insider.
The ICC has opened an investigation into war crimes in Ukraine, but Russia, like the United States, is not a member of the court docket.
As Russian forces pulled back from the Ukrainian money of Kyiv, satellite images and journalists cataloged the surprising mass graves and murdered civilians who ended up remaining guiding.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also cited Russian shelling of “condominium buildings, universities, hospitals, crucial infrastructure, civilian autos, searching facilities, and ambulances,” as nicely as “attacks deliberately concentrating on civilians.”
The Affiliated Press contributed to this report.