Biden administration lifted sanctions against employees of International Criminal Court

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says differences between Washington and The Hague remain

The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Visa restrictions imposed on a number of agency officials in The Hague were also lifted.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the State Department’s decision was due to the “irrelevance and ineffectiveness” of sanctions previously imposed by former President Donald Trump’s administration.

Recall that last year, the Trump administration accused the ICC of infringing on U.S. national sovereignty after the court announced a possible investigation of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

The ICC called the sanctions an attack on international justice and the rule of law. The decision has also been criticized by U.S. human rights activists. Human Rights Watch International Justice Director Richard Dicker called Trump’s decision a “blatant perversion” of the sanctions concept.

According to Blinken, the U.S. continues to object to attempts by the ICC “to assert jurisdiction over citizens of states that are not parties to the court, such as the United States and Israel.”

However, according to the Secretary of State, disagreements “are better resolved through negotiations with the parties concerned,” rather than through the imposition of sanctions.

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