Washington (QNN)- US President Donald Trump has imposed economic and travel sanctions on Thursday against International Criminal Court employees investigating abuses by Americans and US allies, including ‘Israel’.
Under these sanctions, any employee who has “directly engaged in any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States or the personnel of countries that are United States allies” may be subject to sanctions.
This step comes months after the ICC authorized a probe into alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan by US and Afghan forces. It also follows the court’s Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda decision to open an investigation into crimes committed by ‘Israel’ against the Palestinians.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the ICC a “kangaroo court” saying that “We cannot and we will not stand by as our people are threatened by a kangaroo court.”
Regarding the ICC’s decision on the situation in Palestine, he stated, “The ICC is already threatening Israel with an investigation of so-called war crimes committed by its forces and personnel in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.”
The ICC responded to Trump’s decision by saying that his decision is not only an attack on the court and the system of international criminal justice, but also on the interests of the victims of atrocities.
“These attacks constitute an escalation and an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the Court’s judicial proceedings,” the court also stated.
Matter of Concern
The imposed sanction against the ICC employees has already drawn concern from international officials and human rights organizations.
Senator Bernie Sanders wrote Friday on Twitter, “The United States should be leading the way in upholding international human rights standards, not targeting ICC personnel and their families with sanctions.”
This is yet another move by Trump that will be welcomed by authoritarians around the world. The United States should be leading the way in upholding international human rights standards, not targeting ICC personnel and their families with sanctions. https://t.co/cnWKuls7O3
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 12, 2020
Human Right Watch denounced Trump’s decision saying that “Sanctions should be imposed against rights violators, not against those pursuing justice for the worst violations amounting to serious international crimes.”
Switzerland, Norway, and Slovakia were among the countries that have expressed serious concerns about sanctions imposed against ICC by Trump.
Switzerland regrets sanctions against International Criminal Court. It reaffirms its support for the ICC as an independent institution that prosecutes the most serious crimes and thereby contributes to lasting peace and international stability.
— Swiss MFA (@SwissMFA) June 12, 2020
— Norway MFA (@NorwayMFA) June 12, 2020
— Slovakia at the UN (@SlovakiaUNNY) June 12, 2020
Also, Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said he was “very disturbed by the United States’ measures against the ICC.”
Very disturbed by the United States’ measures against the @IntlCrimCourt. We call on the US not to sanction ICC staff. The Netherlands fully supports the ICC and will continue to do so. The ICC is crucial in the fight against impunity and in upholding international rule of law.
— Stef Blok (@ministerBlok) June 11, 2020