The Seimas calls for prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence committed in Ukraine
Press release, 8 November 2022
The Seimas unanimously, with 118 votes in favour, adopted the Resolution condemning the continuing military aggression by the Russian Federation, the previous and further use of sexual violence in a systematic and widespread way in support of the policy of the Russian Federation, and other war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Ukrainian people.
The Resolution expresses full support for the actions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in initiating and participating in judicial proceedings regarding the international crimes being committed by the armed forces of the Russian Federation, including those related to sexual violence against Ukrainians.
Members of the Seimas call on other states to invoke the principle of universal jurisdiction and to open pre-trial investigations into the war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the crimes related to systematic sexual violence, which were committed and continue to be committed on the territory of Ukraine by persons belonging to the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
‘Up to now, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry has confirmed over 100 cases of sexual violence committed by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine. Of course, we understand that the actual figure is much higher, but at least this figure has been confirmed so far. Criminal proceedings have already commenced in 43 cases; the age of victims varies from 4 to 82 years,’ said Ieva Pakarklytė, Member of the Freedom Party Political Group and co-author of the Resolution, while pointing out that sexual violence against women, men and children was used systematically and that representatives of the United Nations also regarded sexual violence as part of Russia’s military strategy.
The Member States of the European Union and other international partners are urged to join the initiative of the Baltic States to establish the Special International Criminal Tribunal and to engage in other international legal proceedings with a view to bringing the political and military leaders of the Russian Federation to justice for the crime of aggression in Ukraine.
The Resolution calls on the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations Human Rights Council to take all possible steps within their remit to investigate the sexual and other crimes committed by the Russian Federation and to assist victims of such crimes.
The governments of the Republic of Lithuania and other states are urged to initiate all necessary actions to provide all necessary medical and psychological assistance to the victims of sexual crimes, committed by the armed forces of the Russian Federation, who are staying on the territory of these states.