Dear President Macron,
War Crimes Investigation – Ukraine
I refer to the above and write to seek your support in respect of a proposal to aid the gathering of evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.
The European Confederation of Police (EuroCOP) is a member of the International Council of Police Representative Associations (ICPRA). ICPRA members agree that there should be an internationally coordinated effort to the gathering of evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.
War crimes investigations are inherently complex and lengthy. The atrocities we are all seeing on our screens have already demonstrated that war crimes are taking place. ICPRA fully supports the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan’s decision to open an investigation. We believe it is the duty of every police force to assist that investigation and ensure all relevant evidence is secured to aid a prosecution.
In any investigation the sooner the evidence is gathered, documented, and preserved, the quicker a prosecution is able to be instigated, and the likelihood of a conviction is increased.
The people of Ukraine have extended family, friends, and colleagues all over the world. They have established communities within our nations and provide a vital link with the Ukrainian people currently living in Ukraine.
The people in Ukraine are capturing direct evidence of the atrocities that are unfolding before their very eyes. They are sharing this first-hand evidence with their families, friends, and colleagues outside of the country. This evidence is verifiable and able to be time and date stamped, and geo-located. This type of evidence will be invaluable in any subsequent prosecution.
ICPRA believes every police force should invite those who have received direct evidence from those in Ukraine to report this evidence to their local (or federal) police in order that it can be secured. It is a sad reality that many of those direct eye witnesses will sadly lose their lives in the defence of their county. It is therefore essential that evidence they have already secured is not lost forever.
To be clear, ICPRA is NOT suggesting well-meaning, and concerned citizens to inundate police forces with details of images and footage they have seen on social media. This would overwhelm police forces and hinder, not help any evidence gathering.
We know our domestic police forces and federal agencies have the capabilities to undertake such a task if asked. They will however need assistance in growing capacity, as well as political and strategic leadership to ensure the work compliments that of the ICC Investigation. It is in this regard that political leadership and coordination is essential.
EuroCOP considers the priorities for French Presidency of the Council of the EU, which include a commitment to work to strengthen the security of European citizens by heightening police cooperation and to strengthen European coordination in civil protection are completely aligned with this proposal. EuroCOP would therefore welcome your support and leadership in championing this proposal, for the benefit of a safer and more secure Europe, and look forward to hearing from you.
European Confederation of Police