Over 100 Human Rights Groups Ask Biden to Oppose Sanctions Against ICC

Fri May 24 2024
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LONDON: More than 100 human rights and civil society organizations have urged the President of the United States, Joe Biden to oppose proposed sanctions against the International Criminal Court.

Earlier, this week the court’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, sought arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three other Hamas leaders.

Khan’s move was denounced by some members of the US Congress and Senate, who threatened to impose sanctions and travel bans on officers of the ICC.

The 121 human rights and civil society groups in an open letter published on Thursday, asked Biden to resist calls to punish the ICC.

Major human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch signed the letter.

The letter says Biden must oppose any legislative attempt to undermine the ICC and make clear that the US continues to support independent international justice mechanisms, regardless of its views on specific ICC investigations.

“Accountability is important for its own sake and protects against the commission of future atrocity crimes,” it added.

The letter further said the authority of the ICC to provide justice for victims requires full respect for its independence.

A selective policy to judicial decisions undermines the credibility, and the force of the law as a shield against human rights abuses and violations, said the letter.

The US is not a member of the ICC, but both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed its actions on several occasions, including by assisting in the arrests of wanted suspects.

The Biden administration has openly welcomed the ICC statements on the conflicts in Ukraine and Sudan.

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