The US has revoked the visa for the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda in attempt to sabotage a possible investigation of US war crimes in Afghanistan.
The data regarding the decision to revoke Bensouda’s visa was revealed by her office on April 5. The statement added that Bensouda would continue to pursue her duties for the Hague-based court “without fear or favour” despite the ban.
“What we can confirm is that the US authorities have revoked the prosecutor’s visa for entry into the US,” the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC said in own statement.
There was no immediate comment on Bensouda’s visa ban from Washington. However, the revealed move followed an earlier announcement of restrictions on ICC staff who probe US or allied personnel by US State Secretary Mike Pompeo.
The decision to pressure Bensouda is likely related to her request to ICC judges in November 2017 for authorisation to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan by the Taliban, Afghan government forces and international forces including US troops.
So far, the court has not decided whether to launch a full-blown probe. However, the recent developments show that the court may have been close to a postivie decision.
On March 15, Pompeo claimed that the ICC was “attacking America’s rule of law”. He was “announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of US personnel.”
“If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan you should not assume that you still have, or will get, a visa or that you will permitted to enter the United States,” Pompeo said.
Reports regarding civilian casualties caused by actions of the US and its allies appear on a regular basis. However, these casualties and other war crimes of US forces and their allies, both international and local, remain not undressed by the international community.