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Q&A: The International Criminal Court and the United States | HRW - Sept. 2020 |


8. What is the US position now on the ICC?  [link]

Under President Donald Trump's administration, the US government has said that it will not cooperate with the ICC and has threatened retaliatory steps against ICC staff and member countries should the court investigate US or allied country citizens. Then National Security Adviser John Bolton first announced this approach in September 2018. Two weeks later, President Trump addressed the UN General Assembly stating that the "United States will provide no support or recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority."

On March 15, 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would impose visa bans on ICC officials involved in the court's potential investigation of US citizens for alleged crimes in Afghanistan. He indicated the same policy may be used to deter ICC efforts to investigate nationals of allied countries, including Israelis, and stated that the US would be prepared to take further actions, including economic sanctions, "if the ICC does not change its course." The Trump administration confirmed in early April 2019 that it had revoked ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's visa.

Pompeo publicly threatened two staff members of the ICC on March 17, 2020, naming them and stating that he was "considering what the United States' next steps ought to be with respect to these individuals and all those who are putting Americans at risk." Pompeo said he wanted to identify people responsible for the investigation - and their family members - and implied he could seek actions against them.

On May 15, 2020, Pompeo vowed to "exact consequences" if the ICC "continues down its current course" - that is, if the court moves forward with a Palestine investigation.

Trump issued a sweeping executive order on June 11, 2020 authorizing asset freezes and family entry bans that could be imposed against certain ICC officials. The administration acted on September 2 to designate Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, and Phakiso Mochochoko, the head of the Office of the Prosecutor's Jurisdiction, Complementarity, and Cooperation Division, for sanctions. The executive order also provides for the same sanctions with regard to those who assist certain court investigations, risking a broad chilling effect on cooperation with the ICC.

[All links were checked and updated  - Oui]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 26th, 2023 at 06:14:01 PM EST
Russian war crimes investigation only exposes the cowardice of the ICC | The Guardian Letters |

The International Criminal Court's arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and his commissioner for children's rights (ICC judges issue arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes, 17 March) represent an important milestone in demonstrating to the world how irrelevant, compromised and cowardly the ICC is.

Rather than being a beacon of international justice without favour or prejudice [Rome Statute], it seems that it prefers currying favour among its western sponsors and backers instead of casting the light of justice over the egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity that the US-led west has committed over the years.

The destruction of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria come to mind, coupled with the illegal and criminal economic war of sanctions against Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Afghanistan etc, where the aim is to try to destroy these countries' economies and starve the people into bringing about a change of regime.

A more fitting description to go with its acronym is international court of cowardice.

Russell Caplan
Wood Green, London

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 26th, 2023 at 06:15:11 PM EST
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