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Romania to investigate Russian crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine

On Monday the Romanian Prosecutor’s Office, a part of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, announced the opening of an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed by Russia in Ukraine, AFP reported. The agency noted that the decision may carry only symbolic value.

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In a press release the prosecutor’s office explained that it is acting in accordance with criminal law, which pertains to crimes committed against any Romanian citizen on foreign territory.

It cites the principle of “universal jurisdiction”, which allows for the prosecution of suspects involved in serious criminal acts regardless of where they were committed.

According to the communiqué the consequences of the Russian invasion are particularly serious, involving heavy losses among the civilian population, especially children.

It also points out how due to the psychological trauma caused by the Russian Federation’s military attack, millions of civilians have left Ukrainian territory and become refugees, including seeking abode in Romania.

The AFP press agency stressed that the decision to open an official investigation may carry only symbolic value, showing Bucharest’s support for Ukraine.

Other investigations into Russian war crimes

Many countries have also started their own investigations into Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine, this includes Ukraine, the US, UK and the EU as whole.

On May 25 The EU, US and UK announced in a joint statement that they have established a special mechanism, the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA), on war atrocities in Ukraine to provide coordination and support on the ground for efforts to account for crimes committed during the Russian invasion.”

Together with the UK and the EU, we have launched the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group, a multinational effort to support the War Crimes Units of the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General. Together we will pursue accountability. We remain #UnitedWithUkraine.

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 25, 2022

Earlier, on May 12, the UN Human Rights Council voted in favour of a resolution calling for a UN investigation into reports of gross human rights violations in Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine.

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