Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

US Deny Visas of ICC Personnel Investigating War Crimes

US Deny Visas of ICC Personnel Investigating War Crimes

In doing so, he made good on an earlier threat by the Trump administration to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States and sanction funds they have there if the court launched a probe of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Pompeo went on to say, "this includes persons who take or have taken action to request or further section an investigation - these visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue ally personnel, including Israelis, without ally's consent".

The United States announced its first sanctions against the International Criminal Court Friday, threatening visa restrictions for anyone involved in a potential probe of American soldiers' actions in Afghanistan.

He appeared to be referring in particular to requests for investigations with regards to USA military actions in Afghanistan.

The ICC came into being in 2002 with over 120 members, including most European nations. "After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us".

"These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts", he said."We're prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change its course". In 2002, Bolton, then a State Department official, traveled to NY to ceremonially "unsign" the Rome Statute at the United Nations.

"This is an unprecedented attempt to skirt global accountability for well-documented war crimes that haunt our clients to this day", Dakwar said.

The United States' decision to revoke visas and refuse to grant new ones to the staff of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague echoes the worst human rights abusers and totalitarian regimes, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a statement on Friday.

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Warning that "the court could eventually pursue politically motivated prosecutions of Americans", the secretary of state told reporters that the Trump administration is "determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation".

"But that's not how law works, " he said on Twitter.

Other major powers, including Russian Federation and China, are not members.

Supporters of the court slammed Pompeo's announcement on Friday.

Human Rights Watch called the announcement a "thuggish attempt to penalize investigators" at the court and that it sends "a message to torturers and murderers alike: Their crimes may continue unchecked".

"Taking action against those who work for the ICC sends a clear message to torturers and murderers alike: Their crimes may continue unchecked", the group's Washington director, Andrea Prasow, said, calling on US lawmakers to express support for the court.

After the court's founding in 2002, Congress passed a law prohibiting USA support for the ICC and also authorizing the government to use all necessary means to repatriate any American citizen detained by the court.

Amnesty International described the move as "the latest attack on international justice and international institutions by an administration hellbent on rolling back human rights protections".

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