Brussels 03.03.2021 “On 2 April, the US administration announced the repeal of the executive order imposing sanctions on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and another member of the Court’s staff. This important step underlines the US’s commitment to the international rules-based system” the statement of the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell reads.
“The ICC plays an important role in delivering justice to the victims of some of the world’s most horrific crimes. Protecting the impartiality and judicial independence of the ICC is paramount to its effectiveness and proper functioning.
“The European Union is unwavering in its support for the universality of the Rome Statute and for the ICC. We will stand together with all partners to defend the Court against attempts aimed at obstructing the course of justice and undermining the international system of criminal justice and we will continue to support the ongoing review process to enhance the Rome Statute system and make the Court stronger and more effective”.
“In view of today’s US announcement, the European Union expresses its serious concern about the measures adopted and reiterates its strong support to the International Criminal Court.
“As the world’s first and only permanent international criminal court for the investigation and prosecution of the most serious crimes, the ICC demonstrates the international community’s resolve to end impunity and to foster a culture of accountability”, the European External Actions Service (EEAS) says.
“An effective Court is an indispensable instrument of the international community to combat impunity and promote a rules-based international order.State cooperation is vital to achieving accountability for the most serious crimes. The European Union and its Member States remain committed to the full cooperation with the ICC to guarantee its full effectiveness and efficiency and expect States to lend the necessary assistance to the Court.”
“Along with our international partners, we will continue to work towards a shared rules-based global order, with multilateralism as its key principle, and to promote the universality and preserve the integrity of the Rome Statute. We are ready to further engage with both States Parties and non-state parties on these important issues.”
The decision it taken to deter a potential investigation by the judicial body into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US troops in Afghanistan.
Mr. Pompeo, speaking from the State Department said the restrictions include “persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation.” Secretary Pompeo said the policy had already taken effect, but declined to name who had been restricted or would face future restrictions.
Pompeo also warned about potential economic sanctions “if the ICC does not change its course.”
ICC spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah said that the court was aware of Pompeo‘s statement. In a comment he said that the Court is “non-political and an independent and impartial judicial institution crucial for ensuring accountability for the gravest crimes under international law.”
“The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its independent work, undeterred, in accordance with its mandate and the overarching principle of the rule of law,” he added.
In November 2017, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda sought authorization to open an investigation into crimes connected to the conflict in Afghanistan. According to an announcement from the time, Bensouda‘s office “determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe” that members of the US armed forces and the CIA committed “war crimes.” The ICC has not yet made a decision on whether to authorize that investigation.