US bars entry to ICC participants probing ‘war crimes’ in Afghanistan

US bars entry to ICC participants probing ‘war crimes’ in Afghanistan

The United States will revoke or roar visas to International Criminal Court docket (ICC) personnel searching for to review imaginable war crimes by US forces or allies in Afghanistan, Secretary of Pronounce Mike Pompeo has said.

“The ICC is attacking America’s rule of laws,” Pompeo told a facts convention on Friday. “I’m announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those folk at once to blame for any ICC investigation of US personnel.”

“We are fantastic to give protection to the American and allied defense force and civilian personnel from living in grief of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our mountainous nation.”

US officers comprise long regarded the Netherlands-basically based mostly ICC with hostility, arguing that American courts are capable of dealing with any allegations in opposition to US forces, and Pompeo framed the action in opposition to the ICC as predominant to stop the enviornment tribunal from infringing on US sovereignty.

“These visa restrictions could honest furthermore be aged to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent,” he added. 

Pompeo said the policy was once already being utilized but would now not clarify, citing visa privacy authorized pointers.

“These visa restrictions could perhaps now not be the finish of our efforts,” he said.”We’re ready to lift extra steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC would now not commerce its path.”

Pompeo’s announcement was once the principle concrete action the US has taken in opposition to the ICC since the White Condominium threatened reprisals in opposition to the physique closing one year.


The Hague-basically based mostly court, the principle world tribunal for war crimes, issued a press open announcing it would proceed to characteristic “undeterred” by the US action.

“The court is an just and just judicial establishment an crucial for guaranteeing accountability for the gravest crimes under world laws,” the assertion said.

“The ICC, as a court of laws, will proceed to fabricate its just work, undeterred, in accordance with its mandate and the overarching precept of the rule of thumb of laws.”

The US has by no methodology joined the ICC, where a prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, asked judges in November 2017 to initiate an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity dedicated by Afghan national safety forces, Taliban and Haqqani community warring parties, moreover to US forces and intelligence officers in Afghanistan since May perhaps well furthermore honest 2003. 

The prosecution’s build a question to said there is knowledge that participants of the US defense force and intelligence companies “dedicated acts of torture, cruel medication, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual violence in opposition to war-connected detainees in Afghanistan and diversified areas, largely in the 2003-2004 duration”.

Judges are reviewing all topic cloth submitted by the prosecutor, and must resolve whether or now not or now not to authorise an investigation.

The Palestinians comprise furthermore asked the court to raise conditions in opposition to Israel.

Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, said ICC investigators were furthermore searching for to probe the US defense force’s conduct “now not right in Afghanistan, but furthermore in unlit sites that we now know was once unfold across the globe, where they were held in secret detention for months, and where some squawk detainees were tortured”.

‘Misguided and unpleasant’

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

Human Rights Ogle known because it “a thuggish strive to penalize investigators” at the ICC.

“The Trump administration is making an strive an finish speed around accountability,” it said.

“Taking action in opposition to those that work for the ICC sends a transparent message to torturers and murderers alike: Their crimes could honest proceed unchecked.”

Amnesty International described the transfer as “the most traditional attack on world justice and world establishments by an administration hellbent on rolling aid human rights protections”.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents three folk earlier than the ICC who squawk they were tortured in Afghanistan, known as the dedication “misguided and unpleasant” and “an unprecedented strive to skirt world accountability for successfully-documented war crimes that haunt our customers to in the in the intervening time”. 

James Goldston, govt director of the Originate Society Justice Initiative, said Pompeo’s remarks mirrored the administration’s uncover that world laws issues “only when it’s aligned with US national interests”.

With 123 member states, including the total European Union, the ICC was once established in 2002 to prosecute war crimes, genocide or crimes in opposition to humanity when a nation is unable or unwilling to prosecute perpetrators.

Assorted main powers, including Russia and China, are now not participants.

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