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MEDEL statement on the situation in Ukraine


“(…) There’s no poetry about war just decomposition only letters remain and they all make a single sound — rrr (…)”

LYUBA YAKIMCHUK, “Decomposition”, in Apricots of Donbas

(Translation: Oksana Maksymchuk / Max Rosochinsky)

The dark clouds of war that everyone thought were forever gone are once again blackening the skies of Europe.

The Russian military intervention against Ukraine breaches the fundamental principles of international law: non-interference in the internal affairs of states; territorial integrity and sovereignty; prohibition of the use of armed force in international relations.

MEDEL has constantly called for the respect of international law and human rights, regardless of the perpetrator or the reasons and motives behind their infringement: in 2005 MEDEL opposed the unilateral war in Iraq[1] and in 2007 denounced the scandal of “extraordinary renditions” on European soil2.

As in those moments, MEDEL now reaffirms its commitment to multilateralism and to diplomacy, and the clear and strong refusal of war as a method to solve disputes between sovereign states - international law is not "the law of the most powerful".

MEDEL’s thoughts are with all the innocent Ukrainian citizens who are suffering the horrors of war. A particular word of solidarity goes out to our Ukrainian colleagues and members of the judiciary – judges, prosecutors, lawyers and court clerks – who in recent years have struggled so

hard to strengthen democracy through the changing and improvement of the Ukrainian judiciary.

MEDEL is also aware that we cannot confuse a country with its leadership. We have been seeing images of thousands of brave citizens protesting against war in the streets of Russia, courageously defying those who, pretending to speak on their behalf, are simply pursuing their own selfish interests. Regardless of the outcome of this crisis, their example will stay as a symbol of the true and peaceful nature of the Russian people.

In view of the current situation, MEDEL:

  • Condemns the use of military force and the invasion of Ukraine;
  • Reaffirms its commitment to multilateralism and the refusal of the use of force as a method to solve international disputes;
  • Calls on all parties to return to diplomatic dialogue as a way to end the current crisis;
  • Expresses its full solidarity to the Ukrainian people and especially to all judges, prosecutors, lawyers and court clerks who are suffering the horrors of war;
  • Expresses its full solidarity to the brave Russian citizens who are courageously marching on the streets, opposing war and demanding the end of the invasion;
  • Urges the international community to support and protect by all possible means the Ukrainian refugees fleeing from war and the Russian citizens who are protesting on the streets.

25 February 2022

[1] https://www.medelnet.eu/index.php/news/international/121-declaration-on-iraq-war-justice-not-war.

2 https://www.medelnet.eu/index.php/news/international/120-the-united-states-defy-the-rule-of-lawon-european-soil.

The original statement can be found in the link