Prosecutor General's Office informed the International Criminal Court about crimes related to cultural heritage in Crimea
This is reported by the Office of The Prosecutor General.
The report contains information about the large-scale misappropriation and destruction of cultural heritage sites that are not justified by military necessity and are carried out illegally and aimlessly.
The document was also signed by Roman Martynovsky, a leading expert of the NGO "Regional Center for Human Rights", and Maxim Timochko, a lawyer of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union. They and other experts on international humanitarian and International Criminal Law – representatives of the NGO "Regional Center for Human Rights", "Euromaidan-Crimea" and the Ukrainian Association of international law took an active part in the preparation of the information message of the Office of the prosecutor general.
The document provides evidence of large-scale destruction and appropriation of cultural heritage sites: the ancient city of Tauric Chersonesos and its Chora; the historical environment of the capital of the Crimean Khans in Bakhchisarai-the Khan's Palace, Chufut-Kale; the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory; the Constantine Tower and the dock Tower in Bakhchisarai. St. Theodosius; Church of St. John the Baptist in Moscow. Kerch. Numerous cases of illegal archaeological excavations and modifications of cultural property in the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimean Peninsula, in particular the settlements of Kermen-Burun and Sivag-Kermen, are also described in detail in the information report.
"The destruction of unique objects of the cultural heritage of mankind is as irreversible a crime as the deprivation of a person's life. After all, one of the ways to end the existence of a people is to destroy its culture and history. These are subtle matters, but very significant for the self-identity of our state. I am grateful to civil society and experts for their great work and assistance in collecting evidence of these crimes. We transmit jointly collected analytics on the expropriation and destruction of these values, so that the International Criminal Court will attach them to its investigation, which, we hope, can begin in the near future," Iryna Venediktova stressed.
The document also describes in detail certain forms of committing crimes by the official authorities of the Russian Federation and the occupation authorities of the Crimean Peninsula. Among them: illegal trafficking of cultural objects, criminal negligence in the process of the so-called "restoration" of cultural objects, illegal archaeological excavations, in particular, excavations of burial sites and mounds, their destruction and robbery, as well as the movement of cultural property from the temporarily occupied territory.
"Dozens of objects of the cultural heritage of Ukraine and humanity were also destroyed as a result of the construction of the so - called Tavrida highway-this is the Kerch-Sevastopol highway and overpasses in Sevastopol, together with the construction of the Crimean Bridge in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution "the problem of the militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol". Sevastopol (Ukraine), as well as parts of the Black and Azov seas, contributes to the further militarization of the peninsula. Such actions are a serious violation of international humanitarian law, and qualify as a separate type of war crimes within the meaning of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court," the prosecutor general added.
In addition, currently, the law enforcement agencies of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol is being investigated in 23 criminal proceedings on more than 100 facts of deliberate destruction, destruction or damage of historical or cultural monuments, illegal search, archaeological work, export of cultural property from the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on the grounds of criminal offenses under Part 1 of Article 438, Part 1, 3 of Article 298, Article 341, Article 356, part 2 of Article 201 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.