93 Countries Support ICC Amid Threats Over Israeli Officials’ Arrest Warrants

Sun Jun 16 2024
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BRUSSELS: Around 93 countries from across the world have signed a letter and publicly emphasized that the International Criminal Court (ICC) must be allowed to operate “without intimidation” amid threats following arrest warrant demand for some Israeli officials over committing war crimes and crimes against Humanity in Gaza.

In a joint statement, ICC member states emphasized their commitment to safeguarding the court’s integrity from political interference and pressure. The statement, drafted by Belgium, Chile, Jordan, Senegal, and Slovenia, was presented to all ICC member states for endorsement.

The declaration follows warnings from ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan’s office regarding various forms of threats received after applications were filed for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several senior Hamas and Israeli officials. These applications are based on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“We renew our resolve to stand united against impunity,” the signatories asserted, highlighting their unwavering support for the ICC as a key judicial institution. They reiterated their dedication to upholding the principles outlined in the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, and stressed the importance of protecting the court’s officials and collaborators from external pressures.

“We reiterate our commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to preserve its integrity from any political interference and pressure against the Court, its officials and those cooperating with it.”

The statement also underscored the necessity for all states to fully cooperate with the ICC to enable it to effectively fulfill its mandate. The support garnered significant attention from major Western powers including Germany, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom, reinforcing the call for global cooperation with the court.

Earlier revelations by The Guardian detailed alleged attempts by the former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency to influence an ICC prosecutor to drop the war crimes investigation through undisclosed meetings.

The joint statement marks a robust defense of the ICC’s autonomy and underscores international solidarity in upholding justice and accountability, particularly in the face of challenges to its operations.

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