U.S. Bars Entry to International Criminal Court Investigators


The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and other abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, or elsewhere, and may do the same with those who seek action against Israel. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting on a threat delivered in September by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, framed the action as necessary to prevent the international body from infringing on U.S. sovereignty by prosecuting American forces or allies for torture or other war crimes.

Speaking directly to ICC employees, Pompeo said, “If you are responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of U.S. personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you still have or will get a visa or will be permitted to enter the United States.”

The comment suggested that action may have already been taken against the ICC prosecutor who asked last year to formally open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, as well as U.S. forces and intelligence officials in Afghanistan since May 2003.

Criminal accountability advocates were quick to criticize Pompeo’s announcement.

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Associated Press