The president of the United States, Joe Biden, revoked this Friday for “inappropriate and ineffective” the sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump government on officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) who investigate US troops or allies, although he expressed his discrepancies by the measures of that body on the situation in Afghanistan and Palestine.
In a statement, the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, indicated that this decision puts an end to the “threat and imposition of economic sanctions and visa restrictions in relation to the Court.”
As a result of the determination, the sanctions against the ICC prosecutor were lifted, Fatou Bensouda, and the head of the Division of Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation of the Office of the Prosecutor, Phakiso Mochochokoadded the note.
Additionally, the Biden Administration ended a separate 2019 measure that provided visa restrictions for certain ICC staff.
“These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures taken were inappropriate and ineffective“Blinken pointed out in the note.
In June last year, Trump authorized economic sanctions on ICC officials “directly implicated in an effort to investigate US personnel without the consent” of their country.
These measures include the blocking of properties that these officials may have under US jurisdiction and the expansion of travel restrictions to the US.
The ICC asked at the end of 2017 to open a investigation in Afghanistan for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity at the hands of the Taliban, national authorities and US troops.
In addition, Bensouda considers that there are bases to initiate a investigation into war crimes committed in Palestine, and that they would implicate both Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement.
The United States has never been a member of the ICC, based in The Hague (Netherlands) and founded in 1998.
Blinken said the United States, now under the Democratic Biden Administration, continues “strongly disagreeing with ICC measures relating to the situations in Afghanistan and Palestine “.
“We maintain our longstanding objection to the efforts of the Court to assert its jurisdiction over the personnel of States that are not parties, such as the United States and Israel“, he claimed.
“We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than the imposition of sanctions,” said Blinken, who supported that signatory states of the ICC Statute Rome – founding letter of the high court – “are studying a wide range of reforms” to that instance.
The International Criminal Court on Friday welcomed Joe Biden lifting the sanctions imposed by Donald Trump.
“I am confident that this decision marks the beginning of a new phase in our common commitment to fight impunity” for war crimes, he said in a statement. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.