USA reveals those to be denied visa

Lester Mason
March 16, 2019

"I'm announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of United States personnel", Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.

Human rights defenders expressed outrage on Friday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the Trump administration is revoking or denying visas for any International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel who try to investigate or prosecute US officials or key allies for potential war crimes.

This would include anyone who takes, or has taken, action to request or further an investigation, he told reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 15, 2019.

"I'm announcing a policy of USA visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel", the secretary of state said.

Pompeo's announcement of visa restrictions was the first concrete action taken by the USA against the ICC since the White House threatened reprisals against the Hague-based body in September of previous year.

The not a party to the ICC, along with other major powers, including Russian Federation and China.

"These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies' consent", he said.

Claiming that the implementation of the policy had already begun, Pompeo did not reveal the identities of people at the Hague-based court who have or will be affected. The Palestinians have asked the ICC to investigate Israel for alleged human rights abuses.

"The court is an independent and impartial judicial institution crucial for ensuring accountability for the gravest crimes under worldwide law", the statement said.

"The US government, where possible, takes legal action against those responsible for global crimes", he added, noting that it has supported prosecution of war crimes in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere.

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".

"Under these measures, we will not interfere with travel to the United Nations for official United Nations purposes", the official said.

This past September, Bolton said the ICC was a direct threat to U.S. national security interests and he threatened its personnel with both visa revocations and financial sanctions should it try to move against Americans.

Supporters of the court slammed Pompeo's announcement.

A director at Human Rights Watch, Andrea Prasow, described the announcement as a "thuggish attempt to penalize investigators" at the court.

"These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts", he said.

"Taking action against those who work for the ICC sends a clear message to torturers and murderers alike: Their crimes may continue unchecked", she said, and called on United States lawmakers to rescind the move and express support for the court.

"The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court", Bolton said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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