War crimes complaint filed against Hamas leaders at the International Criminal Court  

(Hague, Netherlands) – A complaint of war crimes has been filed against the leaders of the Hamas terror organization at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

On October 7, Palestinian terrorists massacred over 1200 and kidnapped over 250 people from Israel. While motivated by the genocidal antisemitism expressed in the Hamas Charter, these crimes engage all of humanity. Those taken captive represent over 40 different nationalities, many different ethnicities, and a range of religions and beliefs. Among the hostages are many peace activists and compassionate humanitarians – the best of humanity –  who are experiencing some of the worst acts of inhumanity.

The Canada-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights (RWCHR) is acting on behalf of the hostages to seek justice for victims and accountability for human rights violators.

On Feb. 14, the RWCHR filed a comprehensive Brief to the International Criminal Court (ICC), with over 1000 pages of evidence and legal analysis, and accompanying video evidence. It describes the perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Palestinian terrorists, including hostage-taking, enforced disappearance, torture and rape. Many of these crimes are ongoing.

Brandon Silver and dona raz levy

Brandon Silver (RWCHR Director of Policy and Programs) and Dona Raz Levy (RWCHR volunteer) in The Hague, Netherlands (Photo: Yoni Collins)

This brief will assist ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan KC in advancing his investigation, and provides compelling evidence to serve as a basis for issuing arrest warrants.

Work on the submission to the ICC was led by Dr. Shelly Aviv Yeini of the Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa along with attorney Yuval Sasson from the Meitar Law Offices firm, which assigned several dozen lawyers to help draft the complaint.

“We have been working day and night in order to build up this dossier. And we are standing here in our promise and our commitment to the families, and to all the victims, that we will not rest until we finalize our mission to see justice,” posted Sasson on the x platform.

The RWCHR has also been supporting other accountability measures for the hostages around the world, including the launching of criminal investigations in several countries, which are moving forward expeditiously.

This project is spearheaded by the RWCHR’s Director of Policy and Projects Brandon Silver, an international human rights lawyer who has previously helped to secure the release of hostages and political prisoners around the world. The RWCHR’s international legal team on this case is led by Barrister Michelle Butler of Matrix Chambers, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. Butler is an international criminal law specialist with extensive experience before the ICC, and the lawyers of Sullivan & Cromwell include former top anti-terrorism prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice. The brief is submitted in partnership with the Families of Hostages and Missing Persons Forum, a volunteer-based Israeli civil society association representing the interests of the hostages.

“As the submission details, the October 7th attacks not only violated the basic dignity of the victims, but also amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” posted Samantha Rosenthal.

Said the Honourable Professor Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and International Chair of The RWCHR: “Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad not only take Jews captive, but also hold Palestinians, peace activists and humanitarians hostage. These perpetrators are therefore not only the enemy of Jews, but also the enemy of Palestinians, and the enemy of peace and our common humanity. They must be held criminally accountable.”

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