The International Criminal Court (ICC) investigates some of the most severe international crimes including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Under the Rome Statute, it is the duty of the ICC to investigate and prosecute those that commit international crimes in particular national jurisdictions, including the Philippines and Venezuela. The investigations and the analysis of the international crimes are done by the ICC independently and impartially. On February 8th, the ICC’s prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda, announced that the Court will examine the Philippian Government’s “war on drugs” campaign and analyze Venezuelan crimes associated with demonstrations and political unrest.
There have been thousands of individuals killed in the Philippines due to alleged involvement in illegal drug dealing or consumption since July 1st 2016. Despite some of these killings being related to violent gang confrontation, many of these are believed by the ICC to involve extra-judicial killings related to the anti-drug operations.
Furthermore, since at least April 2017, the State security forces of Venezuela have allegedly been using excessive force to disperse, arrest and detain opposition members that have formed demonstrations. Several of the detainees have allegedly been victims of horrendous abuse and mistreatment. Some reports also suggest that violence, injury and violence was used by some protestors against security forces.
Following the examinations and the specific facts of both of these affairs, Ms Fatou Bensouda will be able to determine if an investigation should be commenced based on the information gathered.
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.