The European Parliament called on the court in The Hague to issue an arrest warrant for Lukashenko

MEPs called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to issue an arrest warrant for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for his role in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children.

Members stressed that Belarus was responsible for the damage caused to Ukraine in connection with the war,Therefore, the EU must ensure that the republic’s political and military leaders involved in genocide and crimes against humanity are prosecuted.

Earlier, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution recognizing the deportation of Ukrainian children as genocide.

“Since the ICC has already issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, MPs call on the court to consider issuing a similar arrest warrant for Alexander Lukashenko,” the report reads.

MEPs also consider it necessary to extend the sanctions list of Belarusians and Russians, including those involved in forced deportations of Ukrainian children.

Since September 2022, 2,150 Ukrainian children over the age of six have been sent to four camps in Belarus, and this number could increase to 3,000 by autumn this year, the Telegraph writes.

Pawel Łatuszka, head of the opposition group National Anti-Crisis Leadership, said that Lukashenka bears the main responsibility for these forced evictions, as he personally gave instructions on how to organize the financing of these processes.

Usually, children are transported to Belarus via Rostov-on-Don and then distributed to various institutions. There are three “camps” in the Minsk region: the sanatorium “Ostroshitsky Gorodok”, the state center for children’s education and health “Zubrenok” and the children’s camp “Dubrava”, owned by the state company “Belaruskali”. The fourth location is the Golden Sands sanatorium in the Gomel region.

According to publications, Ukrainian children in the camps are told they are “Russians”, forced to learn the anthem of the Russian Federation, invade Ukraine, and even learn to use weapons. If they refuse to obey, they will be beaten.

Lukashenko himself did not deny that Ukrainian children are being transported to Belarus. At the same time, he claimed that they simply come to “heal” and then do not want to come back. “First they blamed Putin that the children were transferred from Donbass to Russia. <…> We don’t steal anyone. <...> Why do you accuse me of calling these poor people so that they can rest and recover, ”he said.

The Telegraph also got acquainted with the document signed by the Secretary of State of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, Dmitri Mezentsev. It contains a request for cooperation between the state railways of the two countries to organize “transportation of children from Donbass to brotherly Belarus for recovery.”

This document i other materials, including reports by the Belarusian state media about the displacement of children on Lukashenko’s order, were handed over to the ICC by the Belarusian opposition as evidence.

Ukraine claims that 19,592 children have been illegally taken to Russia since the beginning of the war, some of them were later given up for adoption. So far, only 385 children have been returned.


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