War Crimes: Call for victims and witnesses

The Federal Criminal Police Office is calling on refugees from Ukraine to report to the police if they have been victims of war crimes in their home country or have witnessed any. “War crimes can be prosecuted in Germany, even if they were committed by foreigners outside of Germany,” the agency’s website states. Under German law, war crimes include rape, executions, attacks on civilians, hostage-taking and looting. The use of cluster or vacuum bombs is also considered such a crime.
Victims or witnesses can contact any police station. “The latter will take initial information on the basis of a questionnaire, which is also available in Ukrainian, Russian and English, and forward it to the relevant authorities,” the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) says. Already, German law enforcement agencies and the International Criminal Court (ICC) have begun investigations related to the war in Ukraine. The ICC has set up a tip portal in English on the Internet.
Probably the best-known war crimes tribunal after World War II was the Nuremberg Trials of the International Military Tribunal against those responsible for the Nazi regime. Later, among others, the former president of the Bosnian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic, had to answer to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague and was sentenced to life imprisonment. In May, a Russian soldier in Kiev received a life sentence from a Ukrainian court as a war criminal.



Ein Stacheldrahtzaun. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Martin Klaus.

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