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US government: sanctions against criminal court lifted

Status: 04/02/2021 10:53 p.m.

The US has withdrawn the sanctions imposed on the International Criminal Court under ex-US President Trump. Foreign Minister Blinken called the previous government’s approach “inappropriate and ineffective”.

The US government of President Joe Biden has lifted sanctions and visa restrictions against employees of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in Washington that Biden had reversed an order made by his predecessor Donald Trump. This also lifted the punitive measures imposed by the Trump administration against the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and ICC department head Phakiso Mochochoko. Visa restrictions for employees of the Court of Justice have also been removed.

Trump approved an order last June that, among other things, could freeze any property belonging to court employees in the United States. Bensouda and Mochochoko were placed on the US sanctions list in early September. The US State Department, headed by then head of department Mike Pompeo, also restricted the issuance of visas for certain employees of the criminal court. Pompeo called the court “a broken and corrupt institution” that continues to crack down on Americans.

Flashing: measures “inappropriate and ineffective”

Blinken described the procedure of the previous government as “inadequate and ineffective”. He stressed that the US did not in any way agree with the actions of the Court against the US in connection with Afghanistan. However, the Biden government believed that it was better to raise these concerns by communicating with everyone involved than by imposing sanctions.

In March 2020, the International Criminal Court in The Hague cleared the way for investigations into possible war crimes in Afghanistan – including against US soldiers and employees of the US secret service CIA. The court prosecutes war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. 123 states have ratified the basic treaty of the court, the so-called Roman statutes. The USA is not a state party to the Court of Justice and has strictly opposed it for years.

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