The case for accusing China of crimes against humanity
In the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, crimes against humanity are well defined. With respect to China's handling of the Wuhan Coronavirus, there is sufficient evidence that the Communist Party of China is guilty of crimes against humanity.
The statute specifically states:
[C]rimes against humanity do not need to be linked to an armed conflict and can also occur in peacetime, similar to the crime of genocide.
In particular, the statute explains that only one of the eleven criminal acts defined needs to be committed to qualify for prosecution in the International Criminal Court. The criminal act that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is guilty of is the eleventh act defined by the statute in Article 7 Section 1, Other Inhumane Acts.
The failure of the CCP to act early on to address the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus might be defended as incompetence. However, the fact that there was a concerted effort to suppress warnings on the part of the medical community in Wuhan fits what the International Criminal Court defines in sections 2 and 3:
2. A contextual element: "when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population"; and
3. A mental element: "with knowledge of the attack"
Let us remember that according to recent reports, the CCP withheld vital information concerning the genetic sequencing of the Wuhan Coronavirus for weeks despite the repeated request from the Western medical communities. The CCP deliberately and with forethought tried to hide the extent to which the virus had spread and the mortality rate that they were experiencing. Independent journalists who were trying to warn the world were silenced.
The Rome statute goes on to state specifically:
Another important distinction is that in the case of crimes against humanity, it is not necessary to prove that there is an overall specific intent.
It could be argued that the CCP did not realize the effect that its deliberate actions would have upon the world, but according to the statute, that is irrelevant. The precedent for this is the prosecution of Romania's former president, Ion Iliescu, who was indicted for crimes against humanity for his role in the deadly aftermath of the 1989 revolution that toppled the country's communist regime. The crux of the case was the dissemination of disinformation, which led to the deaths of over 800 people. This is exactly what the CCP did (and may still be doing) in its handling of the deadly outbreak.
It is now incumbent upon world leaders to call upon the International Criminal Court to indict the leaders of the CCP, including president for life Xi Jinping and the entire Central Politburo of Communist China.
Though it is likely that none of the guilty parties will be brought to trial, it should result in international sanctions against China and perhaps lead to expulsion from the U.N. Security Council and eventually from the U.N. itself. Every nation on Earth is being dragged down by the decisions that the CCP took early in this outbreak. Those decisions will result in hundreds of thousands of people dying if not more.
As the community of nations struggles with the Wuhan Coronavirus, the criminal actions of the CCP must not go unpunished. If they do, then this will happen again and again.