Wednesday, September 2, 2020
U.S. President Trump announced sanctions today against the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda. She earned the United States' disapproval because she is investigating allegations of possible war crimes committed by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The Prosecutor has been placed on the U.S. Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list and, as a result, is subject to having any assets in the U.S. frozen among other restrictions.
Human rights groups have condemned US sanctions on ICC personnel saying it undermines respect for the international rule of law. The United Nations also has expressed concern and said it is monitoring the situation.
The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC and maintains that the Court does not have jurisdiction over the US troops. It is important to remember, however, that the matter is only at an investigative stage. If the United States believes its soldiers have not committed war crimes, it would show much more respect for the rule of law and serve as a positive example by cooperating with the ICC and providing evidence proving their innocence rather than unilaterally imposing sanctions.