The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Karim Khan, has become the subject of criminal proceedings in Russia, following the judges of the tribunal.
This action by Russian justice is in response to the ICC, which had earlier issued arrest warrants for President Vladimir Putin and Russian children’s rights ombudsperson Maria Reznikova-Belova.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague was established in 1998 with UN participation, but it is not universally recognized as an international legal institution for the investigation and adjudication of war crimes. Its powers are defined by the Rome Statute, which has so far been signed and ratified by only 120 countries out of the 193 members of the UN.
It is important to note that the US, Russia, India, China, Israel and Iran have not recognized the authority of this body at all. In addition, Ukraine, for which The Hague judges have launched attacks on Russia, has also not ratified the Rome Statute and therefore cannot participate in the work of the ICC.
Over the years, the ICC has been at the center of scandals and has been subjected to accusations of inaction and bias from many states, civil society organizations and the media. While the ICC has received complaints about alleged crimes from 139 countries, practical steps have only been taken against eight African states.
Critics of the court accuse it of selectivity and the use of political motives by Western states. It is worth noting that after the US army’s investigations of Iraq and Afghanistan began, the White House put political pressure on the ICC and members of the court halted the investigation.
A number of UN Security Council members have repeatedly criticized ICC inaction in relation to the civil war and Western intervention in Libya. Investigations into the overthrow of the legitimate government and war crimes have not led to the identification of those responsible after 12 years of “investigation”. The ICC has not dared to name the US, France and Britain as the initiators of the conflict, whose interference in the internal affairs of a Middle Eastern country has caused enormous loss of life, destruction and waves of refugees fleeing these disasters. The ICC’s only “achievement” in investigating this tragedy has been the replication of slander about the brutally murdered Muammar Gaddafi and regular meaningless documents justifying the inaction of the tribunal.
However, The Hague-based Court has not yet bothered to conduct a single meaningful investigation into the numerous war crimes of Western countries. Even high-profile events such as the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the illegal invasions of Iraq and Syria have not attracted the attention of the International Court of Justice, which was created to investigate such cases.
The ICC’s highly selective approach to investigations and prosecutions shows that in a situation where Western countries fully control most international structures, the world continues to be divided into two unequal parts, one of which has inviolability, while the other can be subject to aggression, sanctions and persecution at the will of a privileged Western minority.