On 11 June the President of the United States Donald trump has signed the decree about the economic sanctions against the staff of the International criminal court (ICC), which are involved in the investigation of US military action in Afghanistan, reported on the White house website.
The document gives Secretary Mike Pompeo the authority to prohibit employees of the ICC to enter the United States and freeze their assets in the country.
The decree trump said that the actions of the ICC threaten the sovereignty of the United States, as well as cause damage to the national security of the country.
The white house said in its statement that the United States is not a state party to the Rome Statute and has repeatedly denied allegations about the ICC extending its jurisdiction to the American military.
“The international criminal court was established to ensure accountability for war crimes, but in practice it represents the unaccountable and inefficient international bureaucracy, which threatens our military, like forces of our allies and partners,” – said in a statement.
The administration, trump said that the ICC did not introduce the necessary reform and conducts politically motivated investigations against U.S. and their allies, for example, against Israel. In addition, the White house said about the existence of the ICC corruption at the highest levels.
At a press conference June 11, Pompeo said that the United States will not stand by when Americans are threatened with unfair trial (he used the phrase “kangaroo court”).
“I have a message for many of our allies around the world: your citizens can be following, especially from those NATO countries that have fought terrorism in Afghanistan together with us”, – quotes the diplomat, the press service of the state Department.
The ICC published on the website the statement expressed “deep regret” in connection with the U.S. response to the investigation and the announced called Washington’s action “unprecedented.”
“These attacks represent an escalation and unacceptable attempt to interfere in the rule of law and legal procedures of the court. Their sole purpose is to influence actions of officials of the ICC while conducting independent and objective investigation and fair trial. It is also an attack on the victims of violent crimes, many of which the court is the last hope for justice”, the statement says.
The ICC stressed that they would “firmly support” their employees and officials.
The international criminal court started work in 2002. States become parties by ratification of the Rome Statute (already ratified by 123 countries).
In 2017, the chief Prosecutor of the International criminal court Fatou Bensouda has asked the judges of the ICC the mandate to investigate possible crimes committed in Afghanistan by members of the radical Islamist Taliban movement, the Afghan government forces and foreign armed forces, including the us.
“There is reason to believe that members of the armed forces of the United States and employees of the Central intelligence Agency used torture, resorted to abuse, encroachment upon personal dignity, rape against conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan and other places, mainly in the period 2003-2004”, – said then Bensouda.
The United States in 2018 considered the possibility to impose sanctions against the court, and in 2019 has revoked the visa Bencode, which is a citizen of the Gambia.
In March 2020, the ICC approved the investigation.
Afghanistan ratified the Rome Statute, but the government objected to the process in the ICC, because the Afghan authorities to independently investigate possible war crimes, the newspaper reported The New York Times.