U.S. will block visas of ICC personnel investigating alleged abuses of American forces

By – The Washington Times – Friday, March 15, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday the United States will restrict visas for any personnel attempting to investigate alleged abuses by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. has already filed motions to block several employees of the , but he declined to say how many or what they were investigating, according to The Associated Press.

“We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation,” Mr. Pompeo said, adding visa restrictions would apply to an employee who has taken steps “to request or further such an investigation.”

The currently has one pending request to investigate war crimes possibly involving Americans in Afghanistan.

Palestinians have also asked for cases to be brought against Israel, which Mr. Pompeo said they would block as well.

“These visa restrictions may also be used to deter efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allied consent,” he said.

The was created in 2002 to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. More than 120 countries are members, but major powers such as the U.S., Russia and China never signed onto the . President George W. Bush rescinded the Clinton administration’s move to join the tribunal.

President Trump’s National Security Adviser John R. Bolton said in September that the was not welcome in the United States.

“We will not cooperate with the . We will provide no assistance to the . We will not join the . We will let the die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the is already dead to us,” Mr. Bolton said.

• Dan Boylan contributed to this story.

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