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Iran Press TV

UN condemns US sanctions on ICC officials

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 03 September 2020 8:42 AM

The United Nations has condemned "unprecedented" sanctions imposed by the United States on International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor over investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against the court's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and another senior official, Phakiso Mochochoko, on Wednesday, accusing the Hague-based tribunal of targeting Americans.

"We will not tolerate its illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction," Pompeo said.

UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was concerned by the announcement.

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 body's headquarters in New York.

Member the International Criminal Court hit out against the "unacceptable" US sanctions.

"I strongly reject such unprecedented and unacceptable measures against a treaty-based international organization," said O-Gon Kwon, president of the ICC's Assembly of States Parties.

Rights groups also condemned the measures, with Human Rights Watch international justice director, Richard Dicker, saying 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," Dicker said.

In March, the court had given Bensouda permission to open an investigation of grave crimes in Afghanistan.

Last year, the US revoked Bensouda's entry visa over possible probes. 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.

The US invaded Afghanistan to overthrow a ruling the Taliban regime in 2001. American forces have since remained bogged down in the country through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

Tens of thousands of Afghan citizens and government forces have so far been killed.

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