UN Experts Rebuke US “Threats”

United Nations human rights experts called on the United States on Friday to stop its “threats” and visa bans against the International Criminal Court (ICC), which they rejected as “improper interference”.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a week ago that the United States will withdraw or deny visas to any ICC personnel investigating possible war crimes by U.S. forces or allies in Afghanistan. The visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, he said.

The Hague-based court has responded that it was an independent and impartial institution and would continue to do its work “undeterred” by Washington’s actions.

In a joint statement, U.N. experts rejected the warnings of measures by Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton last September.

“These threats constitute improper interference with the independence of the ICC and could hinder the ability of ICC judges, prosecutors, and staff to carry out their professional duties,” the statement said. “We are particularly concerned in light of recent reports of senior ICC staff resigning from their positions as a consequence of these threats.”

The U.S. mission in Geneva had no immediate comment on the statement.


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