Biden ends Trump sanctions against the International Criminal Court

(Washington) On Friday, US President Joe Biden ended the unprecedented attack by his predecessor, Donald Trump, against the International Criminal Court, by lifting sanctions on the attorney general.


Francesco Fontimage
France Media

The court in The Hague, the Netherlands, immediately welcomed the “beginning of a new phase” in “a common commitment to fight impunity.”

Joe Biden affirmed that Washington continues to “oppose” the International Criminal Court’s desire to investigate allegations against “individuals from states that are not signatories” to the Treaty of Rome that gave birth to the treaty, “including states – the United States and its allies”, “not to refer to the Security Council Of the United Nations ”.

This is a reference to the investigations into allegations of US war crimes in Afghanistan, which led to the imposition of sanctions under Trump, and the recent opening of an investigation into the alleged crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, which are particularly blamed on Israel.

The US President insisted that “we will vigorously protect current and former employees in the United States” from these investigations.

However, “the threat and the imposition of monetary sanctions on the court.” […] “It is not an appropriate or effective strategy,” he said, explaining the truce. Therefore, he “repealed” the presidential decree issued by his predecessor last June, which allowed for the punishment of judges.

“As a result, the sanctions imposed by the previous government on ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda,” and another official, Vakisso Mushushoku, have been lifted, US diplomat chief Anthony Blinken said in a statement, in addition to numerous visa restrictions. In 2019 against the court employees.

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He made it clear that he wanted to prefer “dialogue” rather than “sanctions.”

The Trump administration, bearing a sovereign and unilateral foreign policy, has taken distrust of the International Criminal Court to the extreme, and has become a symbol of what it hates for pluralism. At the instigation of former presidential advisor John Bolton and then former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it took the unprecedented measure to impose sanctions on a series of court officials, including Fatou Bensouda, in September.

Support the rule of law

Despite its position, very close to that of the Republican team on the two specific issues relating to Afghanistan and Israel, it immediately appeared that the Democratic administration wanted to reduce tensions.

Soon after Joe Biden arrived at the White House in January, the State Department warned that it was beginning to review the sanctions. 46e After the President of the United States promised to bring multilateralism back into the spotlight, and after placing the defense of democracy and human rights at the core of his diplomacy, he appeared to be an attack on international jurisdiction that is supposed to punish war crimes and crimes against humanity in violation of it. Policies.

But the patience of human rights defenders is running out.

Anthony Blinken said Friday that “our support for the rule of law, access to justice, and accountability for those responsible for mass atrocities are important national security interests of the United States.” The International Criminal Court.

In a press statement, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian welcomed the US decision, describing it as “excellent news for all those committed to combating impunity, pluralism and the international order based on the rule of law.”

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“The sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against ICC officials illustrate the flagrant disregard for victims of grave international crimes,” said Andrea Brasso of Human Rights Watch.

“By finally canceling this narrative and the deviant use of sanctions, President Joe Biden has begun to turn the page on Donald Trump’s attack on the rule of international law,” she added.

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