Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has authored an opinion piece for The Guardian, where he calls for the apprehension of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his published article, Brown highlights the growing grassroots movement demanding Putin’s prosecution. This movement has garnered more than 2 million signatures urging South African authorities to detain Putin if he attends the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.
Brown clarifies that Putin’s recent indictment by the International Criminal Court, relating to the kidnapping of Ukrainian children, enables signatory nations to arrest him. The former British leader emphasizes that it is not surprising that Putin responded by issuing an arrest warrant for the ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan. While this has intensified tensions, Brown asserts that the international community and the South African government should adopt a resolute position.
The former Prime Minister emphasized the importance of the South African government advising against Putin’s participation in the BRICS summit, pointing out his violations of both South African and international laws. However, it remains uncertain how the South African government will handle the potential attendance of Putin at the summit scheduled for August. President Cyril Ramaphosa has maintained a neutral position concerning the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
In another section of his op-ed, Brown drew attention to the alleged acts of abduction, war crimes, and crimes against humanity committed by Russian troops. He acknowledged that establishing direct links to Putin may require time, but authorities can effectively pursue charges of aggression.
Additionally, the former British Prime Minister proposed the creation of a dedicated tribunal, akin to Germany’s Nuremberg trials, to prosecute the Russian president. He argued that even if Russia exercises its veto power at the United Nations Security Council, a majority vote in the General Assembly could approve such a tribunal.
Concluding his article, Brown asserted that the United States has a crucial role to play in the effort to hold Putin accountable. He called for active involvement from Washington, emphasizing that the determination and resources of the United States are essential in apprehending the Russian president and ensuring he faces legal consequences.