Already engaged in an attack without precedent against the international criminal Court, Donald Trump has again raised the tone on Thursday by announcing economic sanctions to dissuade the court to prosecute american soldiers for their involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan.
“The president has authorized economic sanctions against officials of the international criminal Court, which would take part directly in any effort to investigate of the us military, or to indict, without the consent of the United States,” announced the White House in a press release.
“We can’t sit idly by while our guys are threatened by a court bogus — and we will not do this “, then hammered the head of the american diplomacy Mike Pompeo, appearing before the press with his colleagues of Defence and Justice as well as the presidential adviser to the national security, in a demonstration of force in the media.
It is a response direct to the appeal decision taken in march by the court headquarters in The Hague, the netherlands, authorizing the opening of an investigation for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan despite the opposition of the administration to Trump.
Mike Pompeo had at the time denounced a decision ” thoughtless “, especially as it occurred “just days” after the signing of a historic agreement between the United States and the afghan taliban.
The survey desired by the prosecutor of the Court, Fatou Bensouda, sought, among other abuses alleged to have been committed by american soldiers in the country where the United States is leading since 2001 the longest war in their history. Allegations of torture have also been made against the CIA.
“This attack against the ICC aims to deny justice for the victims of serious crimes in Afghanistan, in Israel or Palestine,” said Andrea Prasow, of Human Rights Watch. “The countries that support the international justice should publicly oppose this blatant attempt of obstruction. “
“Manipulation” of Moscow
The ICC judges had at first refused to allow this investigation after an initial threat of sanctions unprecedented in Washington, which is not a member of this court — unlike Kabul.
The president, Trump has also approved Thursday the extension of visa restrictions against its officers and the members of their family. The u.s. visa of the prosecutor, Bensouda had already been revoked after the first threats of sanctions of the United States.
At the time, the ICC, examining in particular war crimes and crimes against humanity, was sure to be “attached to exercise independent and impartial mandate,” and ” act strictly within the legal framework defined by the Rome Statute “.
The treaty entered into force in 2002 and has been ratified by more than 120 countries.
The White House recalled that it had “repeatedly rejected” the attempts of the ICC to expand its jurisdiction to the american military.
“The actions of the international criminal Court constitute an attack on the rights of the american people and threaten to infringe upon our national sovereignty,” said the american presidency, citing in addition the term “corruption” to the “highest levels” of the district court of The Hague, in particular within the services of the attorney.
The fierce opposition of Washington also has concerns with the investigation “politically motivated” against Israel, which could be investigated for war crimes in the west bank and the Gaza strip.
Dramatizing the issue, the minister of Justice, Bill Barr has accused “foreign powers such as Russia” to “manipulate” the ICC ” to serve their own interests “. According to the White House adviser for national security, Robert O’brien, these “manipulations” foreign are specifically designed to “encourage” lawsuits against the u.s. military in Afghanistan.
“The United States will continue to use all means necessary to protect their citizens and our allies against charges of unfair “, has warned of the White House.