Canada’s attempt to call the Russian President to account
Roman Hruby from Ottawa, with a sponsorship of the Conservative MP James Bezan who was previously banned from Russia in response to Canadian sanctions which have been applied to Russia over Ukraine, initiated an e-petition, on the website of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Canada on July 3, 2018, calling the government to declare the Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal and refer him to the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.
According to the petition, Putin is accused of military aggression against Georgia in 2008, resulting in “the continuing occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” and against Ukraine in 2014, destabilizing the country by mean of “sponsored assassinations and terrorist activities,” Crimea annexation and Donbas invasion – “which caused more than 10,000 deaths, more than 20,000 injuries, millions of displaced people.” Russian bombings in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons; an MH-17 crash; and ongoing murders of political activists, journalists and human right defenders in Russia and abroad are also mentioned in the text.
“We do need to send a strong message to Putin that the world is watching, that his actions are considered war crimes, and also send a message to world leaders…that we cannot appease a dictator,” MP Bezan told CTV News.
The e-petition is open for signature until October 31, 2018. It needs to get more than 500 signatures in order to make it obligatory for the government to respond. During these first three days, almost half of the required signatures (214) have already been collected: 106 were gathered in Ontario, with Alberta (27), British Columbia (23) and Quebec (24) being active as well.