June 13, 2020

International Criminal Court hits back at US for sanctions ‘threats’

Air Vice Marshal Salihu Atwodi

The International Criminal Court (ICC) hit back at the United States this week for imposing financial and travel sanctions on court officials.

The Hague-based court “expresses profound regret at the announcement of further threats and coercive actions, including financial measures, against the court and its officials, made … by the government of the United States.”

The statement, dated Thursday, said “these attacks constitute an escalation and an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the court’s judicial proceedings.”

Earlier that day, U.S. President Donald Trump imposed economic sanctions against ICC employees involved in investigating U.S. troops for potential war crimes in Afghanistan.

In addition to the blocking of financial assets within the U.S., the executive order also expanded visa restrictions against court officials and their families.

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“We will not stand by as our people are threatened by a kangaroo court,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The Trump administration’s move comes after the ICC in March gave the green light to an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2014, including those allegedly committed by U.S. forces and the CIA.

Washington, which never joined the UN-backed institution, threatened to take countermeasures if the inquiry went ahead.


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