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Human rights groups call on ICC to investigate prominent Russian propagandists

by Sonya Bandouil June 7, 2024 4:39 AM 2 min read
Flag with the logo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 29, 2022, in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo: Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), and the Kharkiv Human Rights Group have jointly submitted a report to the International Criminal Court (ICC) detailing hate crimes perpetrated by Russian propagandists against Ukrainians.

Five prominent Russian propagandists and Alexei Gromov, the First Deputy Chief of Staff of Russia’s Presidential Administration, are implicated by the human rights groups.

The report, prepared by Ukrainian NGOs and an undisclosed Russian NGO, focuses on hate speech violations under Article 7 of the Rome Statute. The submission also seeks to justify Gromov’s responsibility for ordering or permitting such actions under Articles 25 or 28 of the Rome Statute.

Media personalities Vladimir Solovyov, Margarita Simonyan, Dmitry Kiselyov, Sergey Mardan, and deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev are listed as key propagators of hatred. The report also holds Gromov accountable for his role in disseminating such messages.

Through meticulous analysis of over 500 hours of broadcast, the authors identified more than 300 instances of hate speech, urging the ICC to investigate these crimes.

While certain sensitive materials will remain confidential, the public portion of the submission will be accessible on the FIDH website.

"For each of these people, we specified in the submission about 5-7 main narratives that this or that person constantly promoted. For some, more; for some, less. But all of them definitely have called for violence and so on,” Volodymyr Yavorsky, program director of the Center for Civil Liberties, said. Yavorsky emphasized the significance of this investigation in challenging the normalization of hate speech and violence.

Previously, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia.

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