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Humenyuk on lawsuit in Argentina: "We chose one crime against one individual to show that's bad enough"

Argentina has appropriate legislation to investigate torture. 

Humenyuk on lawsuit in Argentina: "We chose one crime against one individual to show that's bad enough"
Natalka Humenyuk
Photo: Public Interest Journalism Lab

Argentina was chosen to file a lawsuit by a Ukrainian man who had been tortured by Russians for several reasons. Firstly, this country has the necessary legislation to consider such cases.

Secondly, it has relevant experience after the junta trials (this trial is the second largest after the Nuremberg trials). In particular, for the investigation of torture by electric shock, said Nataliya Humenyuk, a representative of the international project The Reckoning Project (TRP), a Ukrainian journalist, during the discussion "Crime and Justice: How to Bring the Aggressor to Justice" organised by and EFI Group as part of the New Country project. 

In addition, Argentina is respected in international justice.

"We deliberately chose one crime of one person to show that one crime against one person is bad enough. And this is something that is a crime for the whole world," she said. 

The lawsuit also demonstrates that there will be fewer safe havens for war criminals. About 90 countries still have visa-free travel with Russia.

"In Latin America, they feel quite free. And even the fact that something can be here on this territory, which they consider theirs, is important. Because they do not yet know who the charges are against," explained Humenyuk.

"This is also a good example for countries like Argentina to show that they can help Ukraine too. They cannot give weapons and money, but they can help where they can.

  • The identity of the victim and the Russian military who tortured him has not yet been disclosed. The lawsuit was filed with the Federal Court of Argentina. The victim asks the court to investigate the torture inflicted on him by identified and unidentified Russian officials and their associates, who tortured him and assisted in the torture. 
  • The Argentine Constitution, on the basis of universal jurisdiction, allows courts to consider international crimes, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, regardless of where they were committed. 
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