Trump Administration Sanctions ICC Prosecutor Investigating Alleged U.S. War Crimes

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International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, seen here in 2018, has been added to the U.S. Treasury’s sanctions list. She is leading the court’s investigation into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan.

Bas Czerwinski/AP

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Bas Czerwinski/AP

International Criminal Court Allows Investigation Of U.S. Actions In Afghanistan

In March, the ICC moved forward with its investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including those allegedly committed by U.S. forces and the CIA, as NPR’s Merrit Kennedy reported:

«According to court documents, [Bensouda] plans to investigate alleged Taliban attacks against civilians, including murders and abductions.

«Bensouda also wants to look into methods that the U.S. military and CIA used to interrogate detainees. The prosecution has said, ‘There is reasonable basis to believe that, since May 2003, members of the US armed forces and the CIA have committed the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape and other forms of sexual violence pursuant to a policy approved by US authorities.'»

The Assembly of States Parties is the court’s oversight and legislative body. Assembly president, O-Gon Kwon, denounced the sanctions.

«I strongly reject such unprecedented and unacceptable measures against a treaty-based international organization. They only serve to weaken our common endeavor to fight impunity for mass atrocities,» Kwon said in a statement.

He said the assembly’s Bureau would be meeting soon «to consider the measures imposed by the United States and ways to give effect to our unstinting support for the Court.»

Trump Greenlights Sanctions Against International Criminal Court Investigators

Human Rights Watch says the sanctions will have a serious impact on Bensouda and Mochochoko, «who not only lose access to their assets in the US but are also cut off from commercial and financial dealings with ‘US persons,’ including banks and other companies. US sanctions also have a chilling effect on non-US banks and other companies outside of US jurisdiction who fear losing access themselves to the US banking system if they do not help the US to effectively export the sanctions measures.»

«The Trump administration’s perverse use of sanctions, devised for alleged terrorists and drug kingpins, against prosecutors seeking justice for grave international crimes, magnifies the failure of the US to prosecute torture,» Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Right Watch, said in a statement.

  • mike pompeo
  • economic sanctions
  • International Criminal Court


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