Source: World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy
New York - States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) must pressure the US government to stop impeding investigations by the ICC into war crimes committed in Afghanistan, said the World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP).
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on March 15 that the US will revoke or deny visas to ICC personnel investigating allegations of torture and other war crimes committed in the conflict in Afghanistan.
Pompeo also announced that the US will consider imposing financial sanctions and restrictions on “persons who take or have taken action to request or further such [ICC] investigations.”
“The US government’s policy undermines the rule of law in multilateral relations and sends the signal that might is right,” said Dr Tawanda Hondora, Executive Director of WFM-IGP.
“This policy gives cover and effective immunity to US nationals and allies for acts of torture, murder, rape and other war crimes in Afghanistan,” said Hondora.
“It also sends a clear message that Afghani victims of some of the worst atrocities known to humanity are not deserving of justice,” said Hondora.
Members States of the United Nations, the US included, should investigate and prosecute or extradite individuals suspected of committing serious crimes under international law. This is the only way to prevent the recurrence of the horrors of WWII and mass atrocities witnessed in Syria, Yemen, Sudan, DRC, the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
“The US’s abuse of its military and economic power to implement a policy that fuels impunity is deeply regrettable,” said Hondora.
Pompeo’s shocking announcement also threatens the integrity and effectiveness of many of the world’s multilateral bodies, many of which have headquarters or operations in the US. Consequently, States should take concrete measures to protect the integrity and effectiveness of the international legal system and framework by pressuring the US government to reverse its outrageous and self-serving ICC policy.
“Today, it’s the ICC, and tomorrow it will be employees of other important global institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund,” said Hondora.
In view of the US government’s ICC policy, Members States must also initiate a debate in the United Nations General Assembly regarding international agencies’ ability to effectively discharge their responsibilities and to ensure the safety and well-being of their staff.
The ICC is an important international criminal justice organ, which deserves the support of every member of the United Nations, not least of the Permanent Members of the Security Council.
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