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sexta-feira, 24 de março de 2023

Wanted, dead or alive: Mr. Putin; Address: Kremlin (that's the easy part) - Washington Post

 The big idea

The Washington Post, March 24. 2023

Actually, 'wanted’ world leaders often face justice, new study finds
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine.
It’s been a historic week for world leaders accused of atrocities:
On March 17, judges for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crimes charges.
And on March 20, the world marked 20 years since the U.S.-led war in Iraq to topple dictator Saddam Hussein, who was deposed, arrested, tried and ultimately executed in 2006.
The ICC news about Putin drew understandable skepticism.
After all, he’s the leader of a nuclear-armed country that is a veto-wielding permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. The ICC doesn’t do trials in absentia, so he’d have to be handed over. And, as Bloomberg reported, “of the two dozen people against whom the ICC has pursued war crimes cases, about a third remain at large.”
But now comes a new study from Tom Warrick, who served as deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism policy at the Department of Homeland Security and is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank. It publishes this week, but The Daily 202 got an early look. You should be able to read the whole thing here.
Warrick’s conclusion? It’ll surprise skeptics (including, in all honesty, The Daily 202), but in recent times, high-profile targets of war-crimes prosecution mostly do not evade justice and certainly don’t die peacefully in their sleep. With some exceptions, of course.
“Heads of state and major political or military leaders wanted by international courts have faced justice far more often than not,” he found. “If modern history is a guide, the ICC arrest warrant has dramatically changed Putin’s fate.”
The Daily 202 readers are surely familiar with the Nuremberg trials of Nazi military and political leaders. But the modern era of war-crimes accountability began in 1992 with the U.N. Security Council’s establishment of mechanisms for punishing atrocities in the former Yugoslavia.
That was followed by a wave of other actions, some of them country-specific, like an international tribunal for Rwanda or domestic courts in places like Cambodia or Iraq, as well of course as the creation of the ICC. (The China, India, Russia and the United States, notably, don’t recognize ICC jurisdiction.)
Warrick looked at 18 heads of state or leaders or major military forces sought by international justice for genocide, crimes against humanity and serious war crimes. (They’re all men.)
Of the 18, he wrote:
15 (83 percent) have faced justice of some kind before a tribunal.
Two were acquitted “for lack of evidence under less-than-ideal circumstances” but still appeared before ICC judges.
Two others were killed before they could face trial (meaning 94 percent have either faced a tribunal or were killed before that could happen).
Just one of the 18 is still at large.
And here’s the mic-drop: “Of the seven who have died, 0 percent died in their beds at home as free men.”
President Biden’s administration this week looked to leverage the ICC warrant for Putin, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying Wednesday European countries should detain him and hand him over to the ICC if he visits their countries.
“Anyone who is a party to the court and has obligations should fulfill their obligations,” Blinken said, my colleagues John Hudson and Missy Ryan reported.
The ICC warrant “is not just a symbolic action, it has consequences that are going to change the trajectory of Putin’s life, said Warrick, who has decades of experience as an international lawyer, including years of work in the State Department on war-crimes issues.
It could restrict his travel options, it could restrict what world leaders choose to meet with him or associate with him — though obviously his recent summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping shows some of the limits to the limits, so to speak. And many ICC signatories have declined to sign on to condemnations of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The warrant could also “fundamentally alter the way other Russians deal with him,” Warrick said.
In Russia, “there will eventually come to power a group of people who want to break with the crimes of the current leadership [and the international price to pay] and so putting someone like Putin on an airplane to The Hague becomes an option that solves several problems,” he said in an interview with The Daily 202.
Warrick pointed to Putin’s widely reported revulsion at images of ousted Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi being killed in a ditch, seeing his brutal and bloody end as a lesson in what happens to leaders who play by the West’s rules.
“If there’s not a measure of accountability for mass murder, there will be vengeance,” he told The Daily 202. Qaddafi’s fate was evidence of that. So was Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s. Or that of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Romanian dictator.
“The world has changed since 1992,” said Warrick, “and it’s time everyone catch up.”

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