Why is the International Criminal Court under attack? – BBC News
The United States, in turn, has declared against attempts to establish jurisdiction of the ICC over citizens of states that are not parties to the Rome Statute.
Seventy-two United Nations countries pledged support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday, as Washington sanctions two judges.
Since the inception of the court, Washington has refused to recognize the authority of the ICC, created to try cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity..
On September 2, the White House took an unprecedented step by imposing sanctions on ICC Attorney General Fatou Bensouda and another senior ICC official.
“We reaffirm our unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial institution,” reads a joint statement signed by countries that include traditional US allies: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and France..
The signatories – the countries that signed the Rome Statute, which established the ICC – promised to “preserve its integrity and independence, regardless of any measures or threats against the Court, its officials and those who cooperate with it.”.
The statement says sanctions “are a tool to be used against those responsible for the most serious crimes, not against those seeking justice.. Any attempt to undermine the independence of the Court is unacceptable. “.
The joint statement “marks a strong denial of Washington’s unprecedented use of sanctions to undermine the ICC,” said Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch..
The ICC, which began operations in 2002, began investigating war crimes against US military personnel in Afghanistan earlier this year..
US Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills said that the United States “reiterates its unchanging, long-standing, principled objection to any attempt to establish jurisdiction of the ICC over nationals of states not party to the Rome Statute, including the United States and Israel , lack of appeal from the UN Security Council, or consent of such a state “.
He noted that Washington “seeks to protect American military personnel from unfair and illegal persecution by the ICC, which threatens US sovereignty.”.
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