Saturday, 17 April, 2021


US Blacklisting Of ICC Prosecutor Must Be Reversed, EU Says

The International Criminal Court or ICC in The Hague Netherlands The International Criminal Court or ICC in The Hague Netherlands
Bennie Garza | 03 September, 2020, 22:53

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has condemned "unprecedented" sanctions imposed by the United States on prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and one of her top aides in retaliation for a proble into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

The ICC in March authorized an investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, including those that may have been committed by USA military and the CIA, which could lead to the indictment of us military and intelligence personnel.

Later on May 28, the West African prosecutor requested for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to clarify statements made by its President, Mahmoud Abbas, following his announcement of breaking all agreements with Isreal - which included security cooperation.

The Trump administration authorized economic sanctions against the ICC and foreign individuals affiliated with efforts to investigate American personnel and those of its allies, including Israel.

And the head of the ICC's Assembly of States Parties, O-Gon Kwon, said the oversight body would meet to discuss how to support the tribunal in the face of the U.S. measures.

The move follows a June 11 executive order by US President Donald Trump which some called an "attack" on the world's top court.

"The Trump administration's perverse use of sanctions, devised for alleged terrorists and drug kingpins, against prosecutors seeking justice for grave worldwide crimes, magnifies the failure of the U.S. to prosecute torture", Richard Dicker, global justice director at Human Right Watch, said in a statement.

Bensouda was given the go-ahead by the court in March to investigate whether war crimes were committed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan military and United States forces. "The administration's conjuring up a "national emergency" to punish war crimes prosecutors shows utter disregard for the victims".

"The sanctions ... are unacceptable and unprecedented measures that attempt to obstruct the court's investigations and judicial proceedings", Josep Borrell said in a statement.

He added that the assembly will meet shortly to consider the actions taken by the United States and to reaffirm the members' unstinting support for the court.

But Washington's move also added to the broader pressure on the ICC to shore up its legitimacy, 18 years after it was founded to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The State Department has also placed visa restrictions on certain people involved in the ICC's efforts to investigate USA personnel, Pompeo added, without citing any names. Senior-level U.S. civilian and military officials who could bear responsibility for authorizing the well-documented torture and other ill-treatment of detainees in connection with the conflict in Afghanistan, or for failing to punish those who carried out abuses, have not been held to account before USA courts.

The US has not signed and ratified membership of the ICC and technically is "above the law". "Sanctions against the Prosecutor of the ICC??"

"ICC members have banded together before to stand with victims and defend the court's mandate from unprincipled attacks, including from the US", Dicker said.

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