It is outrageous that victims of well-documented crimes and human rights violations are likely not to receive justice as a result of the authoritarian aspirations of the Trump Administration to sabotage an investigation before it has even begun, stated the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
On Friday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague announced that it would not initiate an investigation into alleged crimes in Afghanistan. A pre-trial chamber of the Criminal Court has rejected the request of Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to initiate investigations into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Afghanistan. According to Bensouda’s request, it was about allegations against the radical Islamic Taliban and Afghan government forces, but also about alleged crimes by members of the US Army and CIA in Afghanistan and in other countries in which the US had detained and interrogated prisoners from Afghanistan from May 2003. The preliminary investigations of the International Criminal Court have been ongoing since 2006. “The lack of cooperation, which the chief prosecutor has since experienced, would be even lower in the case of an investigation authorized by the ICC and impair the chances of a successful trial,” the pre-trial chamber justified its negative decision.
The Terrorist makes massive Pressure
In recent months, the Trump Administration had put massive pressure on the International Criminal Court with threats not to allow investigations into war crimes by US soldiers in Afghanistan. “We are going to stop the judges and the Prosecutor of the international criminal court at the entry into the United States, we will impose financial sanctions against them, and charges before U.S. courts,” said Trumps national security adviser John Bolton in September 2018. Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo officially announced in mid-March that the Trump Administration would”refuse or block visas to all members of the International Criminal Court trying to investigate alleged violations of U.S. forces and personnel in Afghanistan or elsewhere”.
“The announcement of Pompeo is similar to the totalitarian practices of the worst human rights violators,” ACLU criticised. The organization represents three Afghans who have been tortured by the CIA in U.S. secret prisons outside Afghanistan. Eight days before the chief prosecutor’s request for investigation was rejected, the Trump Administration banned Bensouda’s entry visa for the United States, which she also needed for her performances before the UN Security Council in New York.
US President, Donald Trump, celebrated the decision of the ICC chamber as a “big international victory”. At the same time, he described the International Criminal Court as “unlawful”. Trump warned that the US would” react quickly and vigorously to all attempts to make Americans, Israelis or allies the target of prosecution”.
The Trump Administration has forced the International Criminal Court by massive threats against its investigators, judges and prosecutors to refrain from investigations into crimes committed in the conflict in Afghanistan since 2003. In this way, the leadership of the community of values of Western democracies has finally disposed of a great civilizational achievement that was once essentially brought about by it on the pile of rubbish in history.
After the Holocaust and the Second world war-spring were leading American lawyers responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the attack, codified war for the first time, as a criminal offence, and the Nazi criminals were punished at the Nuremberg Tribunal for these acts. The efforts to create an International criminal court with universal jurisdiction for the Nuremberg defined four core crimes, have torpedoed the United States, however, from the beginning. And, without exception, all Republican and Democratic administrations since the 1990s – often with massive pressure on other governments – have ensured that US citizens do not fall under any circumstances under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
Benjamin Ferencz, the last still alive chief prosecutor from Nuremberg, and US civil rights organizations such as the ACLU, are among the unfortunately few voices that criticise this cross-party Washington Consensus. However, the direct threats and restrictions of the Trump Administration against all members of the International Criminal Court and its branding by the US president as “illegal” mark a new negative quality of the contempt of this international Institution. None of the 18 states – mostly dictatorial – has intervened to take such measures, against which the ICC has been investigating since 2002. But this is likely to change in the future following the bad example of the US. And Call from Washington, for example, Syria’s ruler Assad before the ICC, have lost the last remnant of credibility.