The ICC condemns “unacceptable” US sanctions

US President Donald Trump has approved financial sanctions against the International Criminal Court for discouraging the ability to prosecute US military personnel suspected of war crimes and humanity crimes in Afghanistan. The ICC has “rejected” an “unacceptable attempt to undermine the rule of law”.

Donald Trump, who has already been involved in an unprecedented offensive against the International Criminal Court, raised his voice again, Thursday, June 11, announcing financial sanctions against him for deterring jurisdiction to prosecute American soldiers, suspected of war crimes and of crimes against humanity in Afghanistan. The ICC deplored a “series of unprecedented attacks” which constitutes “an unacceptable attempt to undermine the rule of law”.

“President Trump has approved financial sanctions against officials at the International Criminal Court who are directly involved in any effort to investigate or prosecute US soldiers without US consent,” the White House announced. in a press release.

Trump threatens the ICC after an investigation by US military personnel

“A false court,” says Mike Pompeo

“We can’t sit idle while our guys are threatened by a fake court – and we won’t,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He appeared in front of the cameras with his defense and justice colleagues and the president’s national security adviser during a media appearance.

In a statement, the President of the Assembly of ICC State Parties, Judge O-Gon Kwon, rejected the sanctions, which “hinder our joint efforts to fight impunity and guarantee the implementation of the obligation to report mass atrocities.”

The Washington measures are a direct response to the March decision against the Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, to allow the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan. A decision made despite opposition from the Trump administration.

“Unacceptable attempt to undermine the rule of law”

“These are the latest in an unprecedented series of attacks against the ICC, an independent international judicial institution,” the court said in a separate statement. “These attacks constitute an escalation and an unacceptable attempt to undermine the rule of law and the judicial process,” she added.

“They are announced for the stated purpose of influencing the actions of the ICC officials in the context of independent and objective investigations and the court’s impartial legal proceedings,” she said.

The investigation requested by the court’s prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, addresses, among other things, atrocities allegedly committed by US soldiers in the country where the United States has been waging the longest war since 2001 since their history. Allegations of torture have also been made against the CIA.

European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said the US sanctions decree was “a matter of great concern” and reiterated the EU’s “support” for jurisdiction.

“This attack on the ICC aims to deny justice to the victims of serious crimes in Afghanistan, Israel or Palestine,” said Andrea Prasow, of Human Rights Watch. “Countries that support international justice should publicly oppose this vague attempt to impede.”

Washington has never ratified the Rome Statute, a treaty governing the ICC, which came into force in 2002. Since then, 120 countries have ratified it, including Afghanistan.

“The International Criminal Court’s actions constitute an attack on the rights of the American people and threaten to violate our national sovereignty,” said the White House, condemning further “corruption” at the court’s “highest levels.” The Hague.

“Politically motivated” and “manipulation” investigations

Washington’s fierce opposition also relates to “politically motivated” investigations against Israel, which may be the subject of investigations of war crimes on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately praised the decision of his “friend” Donald Trump and condemned a “politicized” court conducting “a witch hunt against Israel and the United States” but “turning a blind eye to the worst human rights graves to the world including the terrorist regime in Iran”.

US Attorney General Bill Barr tried to justify the decision by accusing “foreign powers like Russia” of “manipulating” the ICC “to serve their own interests”. According to the White House’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, these foreign “manipulations” are specifically intended to “encourage” prosecution of the US soldiers in Afghanistan.

With AFP