2013 Comoros Referral

In May 2010, during Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, the Free Gaza Movement sent an eight-boat flotilla of ships called the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians. The flotilla of ships departed from Turkey and was intended to reach Gaza, and the ships were registered to various countries including State Parties Comoros, Greece, and Cambodia. The Israeli Defense Forces boarded the ships to enforce Israel’s blockade, and the interception led to civilian deaths. In May 2013, Comoros, a State Party, exercised its right to make a referral of itself to the ICC on the basis that alleged atrocity crimes had been committed upon its territory, and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor opened a preliminary examination.

Download Referral-from-Comoros.pdf


State Party Referral

A State Party referral is when any country that has ratified the Rome Statute (making them a State Party) refers alleged atrocity crimes to the ICC Prosecutor. The atrocities must have been committed:

  • on the territory of the State Party that makes the referral or on the territory of another State Party; or
  • by a national from the referring State Party or another State Party.

Most ICC cases have arisen where a State Party has referred alleged atrocity crimes to the ICC Prosecutor that have been committed on its own territory. This is sometimes called a “self-referral”, and includes the ICC investigations into crimes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic (twice self-referred), Mali, and Gabon.

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