US To Deny Visas To International Criminal Court Members Probing US Troops

The ICC was established in 2002 under the Rome Statute and joined by 123 countries. (FILE)

Washington: 

The United States announced on Friday it would deny visas to members of the International Criminal Court involved in investigating the actions of US troops in Afghanistan or other countries.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was prepared to take further steps, including economic sanctions, if the war crimes court goes ahead with any probes of US or allied personnel.

“The ICC is attacking America’s rule of law,” Pompeo told reporters. “It’s not too late for the court to change course and we urge that it do so immediately.”

The United States has never joined the ICC, where a prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, asked judges in November 2017 for authorization to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

Pompeo’s announcement of visa restrictions was the first concrete action taken by the US against the ICC since the White House threatened reprisals against the Hague-based body in September of last year.

“I’m announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of US personnel,” the secretary of state said.

This would include anyone who takes, or has taken, action to request or further an investigation, he told reporters.

“If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan you should not assume that you still have, or will get, a…

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