US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Already engaged in an unprecedented offensive against the International Criminal Court, Donald Trump raised his voice again on Thursday by announcing economic sanctions to dissuade the jurisdiction from prosecuting American soldiers for their involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan.
“The president has authorized economic sanctions against officials of the International Criminal Court who would take a direct part in any effort to investigate or charge American soldiers without the consent of the United States,” the White House announced in a statement.
“We can’t just sit idly by while our guys are threatened by a bogus court – and we won’t,” said American Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo, standing in front of the cameras with his colleagues Defense and Justice as well as the Presidential National Security Advisor during a media show of force.
This is a direct response to the appeal decision made in March by the court in The Hague, the Netherlands, to authorize the opening of an investigation for war crimes and crimes against the humanity in Afghanistan despite opposition from the Trump administration.
The ICC deplored “an unprecedented series of attacks” against him, underlining his independence. “These attacks constitute an escalation and an unacceptable attempt to undermine the rule of law and the court’s judicial procedures,” she added.
The president of the assembly of ICC states parties, Judge O-Gon Kwon, has previously rejected the sanctions, which “hinder our joint effort to combat impunity”.
European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said the US sanctions sanctioning decree was “a matter of great concern”, and reiterated the “support” of the European Union for the jurisdiction.
“This attack on the ICC aims to deny all justice for the victims of serious crimes in Afghanistan, Israel or Palestine,” also reacted deplored Andrea Prasow, of the organization Human Rights Watch. “Countries that support international justice should publicly oppose this blatant attempt at obstruction.”
– “Manipulations” of Moscow –
The investigation desired by the Court’s prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is aimed inter alia at abuses allegedly committed by American 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.
The judges of the ICC initially refused to authorize this investigation after an unprecedented first threat of sanctions from Washington, which is not a member of this jurisdiction – unlike Kabul.
President Trump also authorized on Thursday the extension of visa restrictions against his officials and family members. Prosecutor Bensouda’s US visa had already been revoked after the first threats of sanctions from the United States.
The Court is governed by the Rome Statute, a treaty that entered into force in 2002 and has since been ratified by more than 120 countries.
“The acts of the International Criminal Court constitute an attack on the rights of the American people and threaten to infringe on our national sovereignty,” said the White House, further denouncing “corruption” at the “highest levels” of the tribunal. The Hague.
Washington’s fierce opposition also relates to “politically motivated” investigations against Israel, which may be the subject of war crimes investigations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately praised the decision of his “friend” Donald Trump, denouncing a “politicized” court which is conducting “a witch hunt against Israel and the United States” but “turns a blind eye to the worst gravediggers of human rights to the world, including the terrorist regime in Iran “.
Dramatizing the issue, US Justice Minister Bill Barr accused him of “foreign powers like Russia” of “manipulating” the ICC “to serve their own interests”. According to the White House adviser for national security, Robert O’Brien, these foreign “manipulations” are specifically aimed at “encouraging” prosecutions against the American soldiers in Afghanistan.
“The United States will continue to use all means necessary to protect its citizens and our allies from unjust charges,” the White House warned.
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