Rights group condemns US contempt of International Criminal Court, targeting of its staff

The Ramallah-based Al-Haq human rights organization today condemned, as “a blatant and shameful attempt to frustrate and contravene the interests of justice and rights of victims of international crimes,” the United States’ Executive Order, issued by President Donald Trump on Thursday, allowing for the targeting of individual members of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) staff.

 

“The Order comes as part of an increasingly desperate and aggressive campaign to ensure that the entrenched culture of impunity for international crimes committed by the United States, and its allies, in particular Israel, being the only such ally specifically named by the United States in its statement, remains intact,” it said in a statement.

 

The United States has previously revoked the visas of staff members of the Office of the Prosecutor, including the Prosecutor herself, threatened the Court’s Judges, and, along with Israel, has sought to smear the Court as “corrupt”, “politicised”, or in the Situation in the State of Palestine specifically, “anti-Semitic”.

 

Al-Haq noted that “the Order speaks to an unwillingness to be bound by the international legal order, if not an outright contempt towards its principles, rules, and values. While purporting to ‘[remain] committed to accountability and to the peaceful cultivation of international order’, the actions of the United States’ government prove otherwise.”

 

It added: “Repeated attacks on the Court, both in the context of Afghanistan and Palestine, a virtually categorical refusal to conduct internal investigations into American breaches of international humanitarian law amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, the termination of American membership of the United Nations Human Rights Council, recognition of so-called Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan, the relocation of the US embassy to Israel to occupied Jerusalem, support for Israeli annexation of vast swaths of the occupied West Bank, and attempts to bar Palestinian engagement with institutions striving for accountability and the peaceful cultivation of international order, such as the ICC and International Court of Justice, all give credence to an attitude of disregard and hostility on the part of the United States government toward the international legal system introduced with the Charter of the United Nations.”

 

Al-Haq warned that “further erosion, by the United States and others, of the international justice system is cause for profound concern, and must be resisted at every step by States, international organisations, including the UN and the ICC itself, and civil society organisations.”

 

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)