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Finland: Call to Arrest Putin

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.




A group of Finnish civic activists has today filed a report to the police, calling for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and for an investigation into his actions during the war in Chechnya.

The activists note that under international law and Article 11 of the Finnish Criminal Code, Finnish courts may extend their jurisdiction over crimes committed outside of Finnish territory.

Indeed, Finnish courts have done this before. A Rwandan pastor, François Bazaramba, was convicted in June 2010 for his involvement in the Rwandan genocide and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Vladimir Putin will arrive in Finland today, on 25 June 2013. The Finnish activists call on police to arrest Putin as a suspect with probable cause in the crimes detailed in their report.

Request for Investigation

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Finland on Tuesday, 25 June 2013. We ask the police to arrest Putin and open a pretrial investigation into his possible responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, Finnish courts can extend their jurisdiction over crimes committed abroad, including in cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined in Article 11 of the Finnish Criminal Code.

The case against Vladimir Putin would be similar to the investigation, prosecution, and conviction by a Finnish court of the Rwandan pastor, François Bazaramba, for his involvement in the genocide in Rwanda.

We ask the police to investigate specific crimes listed in the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society’s seminal investigation, “International Tribunal for Chechnya” (pp. 473-486). A draft English translation of the study is available.

In addition, we refer to the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in cases of crimes against the Chechen people. We note that the Court is still processing thousands of other cases of Russia’s suspected human rights violations.

We maintain that international agreements on diplomatic immunity do not apply to crimes of this magnitude. We therefore urge the Finnish police to take immediate action in response to our request.


Kerkko Paananen
Information Secretary
Finnish-Russian Civic Forum

Antti-Pekka Mustonen
Finnish Anti-Fascist Committee

Agneta Storsjö
Board Member
Finnish-Russian Civic Forum

Mikael Storsjö
Finnish-Russian Civic Forum

Jukka Mallinen



  1. FINROSFORUM says:

    Writer and Russia expert Jukka Mallinen joined the call to investigate the responsibility of Vladimir Putin for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the war in Chechnya.

  2. kerkko says:

    Senegal: Hissène Habré in Police Custody

    The placing of Hissène Habré, Chad’s former dictator, into police custody in Senegal on 30 June 2013 is a milestone in thelong campaign to bring him to justice, Human Rights Watch said today. After a 22-year campaign by his victims, Extraordinary African Chambers were established in the Senegalese court system in February to prosecute the worst crimes during his rule. The chambers can prosecute “the person or persons most responsible” for international crimes committed in Chad in 1982-1990.



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