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News > U.S.

US State Department Revokes Trump´s Sanctions on ICC Officials

  • Daniel Balson, the advocacy director at Amnesty International USA said:

    Daniel Balson, the advocacy director at Amnesty International USA said: "Today, the Biden administration took a critical first step towards removing obstacles to international justice and holding human rights abusers around the world accountable." | Photo: Twitter @drauniya

Published 2 April 2021

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday announced the U.S. is revoking sanctions imposed by the former Trump administration on prosecutors and officials associated with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

A regular policy under the Trump administration, the use of unilateral sanctions against countries, institutions, and individuals who failed to do the bidding of U.S. foreign policy, saw a new reversal in President Joe Biden´s decision to revoke sanctions against two International Criminal Court (ICC) officials. 


Congress Member Rejects US Interference in ICC Probe of Israel

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, the head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the Office of the Prosecutor, the two officials sanctioned under Trump, ordered investigations into alleged war crimes by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and investigations of alleged war crimes by Israel against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
The sanctions imposed by the Trump State Department on ICC officials were listed under the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Individuals, measures most frequently used to target terrorists and drug traffickers. 

Blinken said the U.S. opposes the ICC's actions in its investigations targeting the U.S. and Israel but rejected that sanctions are an effective way to register such protests. “These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective,” Blinken said in a statement.

The State Department further terminated separate visa restrictions imposed in 2019 on certain ICC personnel. The sanctions froze any assets held by the blacklisted persons in the U.S. and restricted Americans from dealing with them.

“We continue to disagree strongly with the ICC's actions relating to Afghanistan and Palestinian situations. We maintain our longstanding objection to the Court’s efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel,” he said in a statement.

“We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions.”

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