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States must oppose U.S. sanctions against ICC staff’

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Press release

The inexcusable attacks against International Criminal Court (ICC) officials by the U.S. cannot remain unchallenged by States Parties to the Rome Statute, said the World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP) today.

On September 2, 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced the imposition of sanctions against the ICC Prosecutor, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, and the Head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Phakiso Mochochoko. Mr. Pompeo threatened imposing sanctions against any individuals and entities offering support to the named ICC officials.

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Mr. Pompeo also announced the restriction of visas against unspecified individuals involved in the ICC’s effort to investigate U.S. personnel for allegedly committing crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction in Afghanistan.

“To attack the ICC in this way is equivalent to rubbishing the U.S. contributions to the legacy of the Nuremberg and Tokyo International Military Tribunals” said WFM/IGP’s Interim Executive Director Keith Best. “The Trump administration’s abusive policy against international justice defenders patently breaks the global promise of ‘never again’.”

The announcements by the U.S. Secretary of State follow repeated threats and attacks against ICC officials and their family members earlier this year, as the U.S. aims at undermining the world’s only permanent international court investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan.

“All ICC States Parties must fiercely condemn these shameful new attacks and take urgent measures to protect the Court and those who support it,” said Mr. Best. “Without clear and strong opposition, these measures will seriously set back humanity’s efforts to achieve justice for victims of the most abhorrent crimes.”

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