“The UK strongly supports the International Criminal Court in tackling impunity for the worst international crimes,” Dominic Raab said. “We will continue to support positive reform of the court, so that it operates as effectively as possibly. ICC officials should be able to carry out their work independently and impartially, and without fear of sanction.”
Earlier the Donald Trump administration said any ICC officials engaged in “any effort” to investigate and prosecute US military service members for alleged crimes will face travel restrictions and economic sanctions. The threat also hangs over their family members.
The current round of tensions between the US and the ICC was triggered by the court’s investigation into alleged war crimes committed by American troops in Afghanistan.
The Hague-based body has denounced the US threat, saying it was obviously meant to sway the course of justice and was an “unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law.”
Several European nations traditionally friendly with the US, including Germany, France and the Netherlands, criticized Washington for issuing the threat.
Its other major ally Israel on the contrary hailed the move, branding the court as “corrupt and biased.” The Israeli government believes the ICC pays too much attention to alleged crimes by Israeli soldiers while overlooking wrongdoing by its rival Iran. Both the US and Israel also reject the ICC’s inclusion of Palestine as its member, arguing that it does not qualify as a sovereign state.
The stand-off between the US and the ICC has been going on pretty much since its creation in 2002. The US believes that the court which is tasked with prosecuting the worst criminal offenses like genocide cannot offer American citizens due process and a fair trial.
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