The U.S. Government imposed economic sanctions against International Criminal Court personnel probing whether American soldiers committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump also authorized additional visa restrictions against ICC officials and their family members.
The ICC called the sanctions “unprecedented” and accused the Trump administration of attempting to interfere with the rule of law and the Court’s judicial proceedings.
“They are announced with the declared aim of influencing the actions of ICC officials in the context of the Court’s independent and objective investigations and impartial judicial proceedings,” the Hague-based court said in a statement.
The White House said the International Criminal Court’s actions are an attack on the rights of the American people and threaten to infringe upon our national sovereignty.
It alleged corruption and misconduct at the highest levels of the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor, calling into question the integrity of its investigation into American service members.
U.S. Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said he United States has a good track record of investigating and prosecuting the alleged criminal actions of its own service members, and URGED the International Criminal Court to stay out of U.S. business.
During a briefing for reporters at the State Department, Esper vowed that members of the U.S. armed forces will “never appear before the ICC, nor will they ever be subjected to the judgments of unaccountable international bodies.”
In 2017, the International Criminal Court announced its intention to investigate U.S. service members for alleged crimes related to missions in Afghanistan.
The United States is not a State Party to the Rome Statute and has repeatedly rejected the International Criminal Court’s assertions of jurisdiction over United States personnel.
President Trump has signed an executive order calling ICC claims to jurisdiction over U.S. personnel “illegitimate.”
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