Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear on Friday that United States will not tolerate attempts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold America accountable for actions it has taken overseas, according to Reuters.
Pompeo announced that the U.S. will impose visa restrictions on investigators from the ICC that are looking into possible war crimes committed by the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan.
“I’m announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel,” Pompeo said during a news conference in Washington. “These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent.”
Pompeo also said the policy was already in place and added that this will not be America’s only response to the situation, saying: “These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts. We’re prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change its course.”
Reuters reported that in November 2017, prosecutors with the ICC “requested authorization from judges to initiate an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan since May 1, 2003, including in states where the CIA held prisoners.”
The ICC was established in 2002 “to prosecute war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity when a country is unable or unwilling to prosecute perpetrators itself” and has 123 member states, including the whole of the European Union.
But the U.S., Russia and China have refused to join and do not recognize the body’s authority.