USA imposes visa bans on International Criminal Court investigators - Pompeo

Pompeo U.S. to revoke deny visas for ICC staff investigating military

Pompeo U.S. to revoke deny visas for ICC staff investigating military

In the meantime, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing that the United Nations is studying the potential consequences of the United States' decision to deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel.

The United States will withdraw or deny visas to any International Criminal Court personnel investigating possible war crimes by USA forces or allies in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

The U.S. secretary of state said, "if you are requesting an ICC investigation of U.S. personnel in connection with a situation in Afghanistan, you can not assume you will get a visa to enter the U.S".

Pompeo's announcement was the first concrete action the U.S. has taken against the ICC since the White House threatened reprisals against the body past year.

The restrictions "may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis", Pompeo added.

Pompeo's announcement came after John Bolton, President Donald Trump's national security adviser and a longtime critic of the ICC, threatened to impose sanctions on court officials in September if they continued to pursue an investigation of potential crimes by USA civilians or military personnel in Afghanistan.

The move, Pompeo confirmed to reporters Friday morning, is a direct response to ongoing efforts by the ICC to probe allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity tied to the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan.

That comment suggested that action may have already been taken against the ICC prosecutor who asked a year ago to formally open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, as well as United States forces and intelligence officials in Afghanistan since May 2003.

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Other major powers, including Russian Federation and China, are not members. While she didn't target the USA military, Bensouda said the inquiry sought "support and cooperation" from the Afghan government, other state parties and the global community as a whole "to accomplish our objectives of ensuring accountability for the crimes committed and that the long-suffering victims of those crimes receive justice".

The ICC said in response it would continue its "independent work, undeterred, in accordance with its mandate and the overarching principle of the rule of law".

The International Criminal Court is supported by 123 nations, including Switzerland.

Similar measures will be taken against any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans, he said.

Supporters of the court slammed Pompeo's announcement.

Human Rights Watch called the announcement a "thuggish attempt to penalize investigators" at the court.

Last year, President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly that the U.S. would never surrender its sovereignty by supporting the ICC and would always regard it as an illegitimate global institution.

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