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US appeals court rejects Trump campaignís Pennsylvania election case             Macron calls police beating of black man Ďshamefulí in face of rising protests             Trump retweets Israeli journalistís message praising assassination of Iranian scientist             US closes 10 bases as part of Ďmurkyí withdrawal process             Prominent Iranian physicist assassinated near Tehran: Defense Ministry             Contradictory statements on developments in peace talks             Americaís security is not hinged on the number of troops on the ground: Pompeo            Latam women march to demand end to domestic violence            India draws rebuke from Beijing over ban on more Chinese apps            Russia denounces Pompeoís visit to occupied Golan as Ďprovocationí             Biden urged to extend US-Russia START treaty, limit deployed nuclear arms             Americans defy pandemic as US COVID cases set new record             Ten Australian soldiers fired after release of war crimes report            Iran swaps Israelís spy for three nationals jailed abroad             Argentina soccer legend Maradona dies of heart attack, his lawyer says            


DATE PUBLISHED: 1399/06/13 - 11:39:0
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US Blacklists ICC Prosecutor Over Afghanistan War Crimes Probe

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, over her investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Pompeo also said Phakiso Mochochoko, the head of the ICCís Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division, had also been blacklisted under sanctions authorized by President Donald Trump in June that allow for asset freezes and travel bans.

"Today we take the next step, because the ICC continues to target Americans, sadly," Pompeo told reporters.

Pompeo also said that individuals and entities that continue to materially support Bensouda and Mochochoko would risk exposure to sanctions as well.

The ICC dismissed the measures as "another attempt to interfere with the courtís judicial and prosecutorial independence" and said in a statement that it stood by the work of its staff.

"These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the court, the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice, and the rule of law more generally," it said in a rare joint statement on behalf of the entire ICC.

The State Department also restricted the issuance of visas for individuals Pompeo said were involved in the courtís efforts to investigate US personnel, though he did not name those affected.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was concerned by Pompeoís announcement, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

Dujarric said that "we trust that any restriction taken against individuals will be implemented consistently" with a decades-old US deal with the United Nations to host the world bodyís headquarters in New York.

Bensouda was given the go-ahead by the court in March to investigate whether war crimes were committed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan military and US forces.

The United States revoked Bensoudaís entry visa last year over the possible Afghanistan inquiry. But under an agreement between the United Nations and Washington, she was still able to regularly travel to New York to brief the UN Security Council on cases it had referred to the court in The Hague.

Rights groups immediately condemned the US designations.

Richard Dicker, Human Rights Watch international justice director, said it was a "stunning perversion of US sanctions."

"The Trump administration has twisted these sanctions to obstruct justice, not only for certain war crimes victims, but for atrocity victims anywhere looking to the International Criminal Court for justice," he said.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/20011


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