Mike Pompeo says ICC ‘continues to target American War Criminals
Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko have assets blocked
What doe these people have in common?
Myanmar generals accused of atrocities
Saudi officials linked to Jamal Khashoggi's murder
President Assad for mass abuses in Syria
ICC prosecutors investigating war crimes
The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on all of them. pic.twitter.com/Xdb0Za9U63
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) September 2, 2020
Announcing the sanctions, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, did not give any specific reasons for the move other than to say the ICC “continues to target Americans” and that Bensouda was “materially assisting” that alleged effort.
He also announced sanctions against Phakiso Mochochoko, the ICC’s director of jurisdiction, complementary and cooperation division.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 2, 2020
The US Treasury issued a statement saying Bensouda and Mochochoko had been deemed “specially designated nationals”, grouping them alongside terrorists and narcotics traffickers, blocking their assets and prohibited US citizens from having any dealings with them.
A stunning perversion of U.S. 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” https://t.co/92Z1rYOwFn
— Shibley Telhami (@ShibleyTelhami) September 2, 2020
In June, Donald Trump issued an executive order imposing sanctions on ICC officials involved in investigating Americans, in response to the court’s decision to open an inquiry into war crimes committed by all sides in Afghanistan.
>The US also opposes ICC scrutiny of Israeli crimes against Palestinians as part of an investigation that also looks at abuses carried out by Palestinian security forces.
The US was roundly condemned for its anti-ICC campaign, which was not supported by any other western democracy or US ally apart from Israel.
In a statement in response to the sanctions on Wednesday, the ICC said: “These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the Court…and the rule of law more generally.”
US Govt imposes sanctions on Intl Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda & Head of Jurisdiction & cooperation division Phakiso Mochochoko.
US Accuses ICC of ‘targeting America’ just months after ICC authorised probe into alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/BxLdjcp7Tf
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) September 2, 2020
Richard Dicker, the international justice director at Human Rights Watch, said the announcement “marks a stunning perversion of US sanctions, devised to penalize rights abusers and kleptocrats, to persecute those tasked with prosecuting international crimes”.