Ukraine - Recent Developments

Speaking on recent developments in Ukraine ALBA’s Westminster Group leader Neale Hanvey MP said:

“As news of human rights abuses and potential war crimes emerges from recently liberated communities in Ukraine it should lead to urgent initiatives in three specific areas - safe refuge, war crime investigation and the pursuit of peace.

“First there must now be a sense of real urgency from Government to offers of safe refuge being made from my constituency and communities right across these islands.

“The UK Government must urgently reconsider its opaque, inflexible and unnecessarily bureaucratic visa process and enable Ukrainians swifter access to the refuge being offered them from members of the public.

“The Home Secretary personally promised Members of Parliament prompt access and action on cases we were dealing with, but with a finite civil service resource and the thousands fleeing the horror of conflict it seems the Home Secretary’s confidence that this would be possible was totally misplaced.

“Secondly, all war crimes are abhorrent. The International Bar Association is best placed to advise on such jurisprudence and securing verifiable evidence that meets the high standard of legal test required to secure any such conviction. A key purpose of such international tribunals is to make it clear to perpetrators that they will be held to legal account and thus act as a deterrence against further atrocities. And this underscores the need for war crimes committed in all conflicts to be given equal attention regardless of the alleged perpetrators.

“As with the genesis of the conflict, it should be made clear that such atrocious events will be considered objectively and in full detail once the conflict has ended and when peace has been secured.

“Lastly the Ukrainian President has wisely stated today that these appalling revelations will not halt the ongoing peace talks. The only way to stop continuing tragedy is to restore the peace, and the international community should focus on encouraging that process to an initial cease fire and then to settlement.

“We are now six weeks into this dreadful conflict and each day it continues leads to more suffering, more casualties and an ever greater number seeking sanctuary and refuge.”

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