Bishop of St Albans asks about investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 4th April 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to work with international partners to investigate allegations of war crimes following the massacre in Bucha, Ukraine, by Russian Armed Forces.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): My Lords, we were all horrified, as we are now, by seeing evidence of appalling acts by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. Russia’s alleged indiscriminate attacks against civilians during this illegal invasion must be investigated as war crimes. We will fully support any investigations by the International Criminal Court, and we will not rest until those responsible for these atrocities have faced justice. The international community must continue to provide Ukraine with humanitarian and military support while stepping up sanctions to cut off funding for Mr Putin’s war machine.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, reports of atrocities coming out of Bucha must be investigated urgently. I welcome Her Majesty’s Government’s support for the war crimes investigation at the ICC, but what conversations have the Government had with our partners about an appropriate response should the ICC make a preliminary finding that war crimes have indeed been committed? What more can we do immediately not only to open up more humanitarian corridors but to ensure that they are protected, to get more people out and stop further atrocities taking place?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: My Lords, on the right reverend Prelate’s second question, humanitarian corridors are being negotiated primarily between Ukraine and Russia, but equally it is Russia that is impeding those very corridors. I have seen myself through a visit to Poland—indeed, my right honourable friend is travelling to Poland today—the bravery of the people on the ground who are nevertheless providing humanitarian support and access into Ukraine. We are working very closely with the Ukrainian Government in that respect. On the issue of accountability and working with the ICC, the right reverend Prelate may know that we led a coalition of countries that has now secured the support of 40 other countries in support of the ICC investigation into what is under way in Ukraine, to investigate it fully. We are in close contact with the ICC prosecutor and are providing technical and financial support, and indeed professional support through the recent appointment of Sir Howard Morrison, in supporting the Ukrainian Government’s effort in gathering evidence.


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