The Trump Administration has leveled sanctions towards the Worldwide Felony Court docket’s chief prosecutor, who’s investigating allegations that U.S. troops dedicated warfare crimes in Afghanistan. Human rights teams swiftly decried the sanctions as an assault on worldwide justice.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced the sanctions at a information convention on Wednesday.
The U.S. has by no means been part of the ICC, which Pompeo known as “a totally damaged and corrupt establishment” and stated “We won’t tolerate its illegitimate makes an attempt to topic Individuals to its jurisdiction.”
The sanctions are directed at Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the courtroom’s head of jurisdiction Phakiso Mochochoko who have been each added on Wednesday to the Treasury Division’s “Specifically Designated Nationals” record. The designation freezes any property they could have within the U.S. or topic to U.S. legislation.
The transfer builds on an executive order issued by President Trump towards courtroom officers in June.
In March, the ICC moved ahead with its investigation into attainable warfare crimes and crimes towards humanity in Afghanistan, together with these allegedly dedicated by U.S. forces and the CIA, as NPR’s Merrit Kennedy reported:
“In accordance to court documents, [Bensouda] plans to research alleged Taliban assaults towards civilians, together with murders and abductions.
“Bensouda additionally desires to look into strategies that the U.S. army and CIA used to interrogate detainees. The prosecution has stated, ‘There’s cheap foundation to consider that, since Could 2003, members of the US armed forces and the CIA have dedicated the warfare crimes of torture and merciless therapy, outrages upon private dignity, and rape and different types of sexual violence pursuant to a coverage authorized by US authorities.'”
The Meeting of States Events is the courtroom’s oversight and legislative physique. Meeting president, O-Gon Kwon, denounced the sanctions.
“I strongly reject such unprecedented and unacceptable measures towards a treaty-based worldwide group. They solely serve to weaken our widespread endeavor to battle impunity for mass atrocities,” Kwon stated in an announcement.
He stated the meeting’s Bureau could be assembly quickly “to contemplate the measures imposed by the USA and methods to provide impact to our unstinting help for the Court docket.”
Human Rights Watch says the sanctions can have a severe impression on Bensouda and Mochochoko, “who not solely lose entry to their property within the US however are additionally reduce off from business and monetary dealings with ‘US individuals,’ together with banks and different firms. US sanctions even have a chilling impact on non-US banks and different firms outdoors of US jurisdiction who concern shedding entry themselves to the US banking system if they don’t assist the US to successfully export the sanctions measures.”
“The Trump administration’s perverse use of sanctions, devised for alleged terrorists and drug kingpins, towards prosecutors searching for justice for grave worldwide crimes, magnifies the failure of the US to prosecute torture,” Richard Dicker, worldwide justice director at Human Proper Watch, stated in an announcement.