South Africa joins outcry against U.S. exec order targeting ICC staff

On Thursday 11 June 2020 Donald Trump signed an exec order authorising travel restrictions and sanctions against International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel. This is the administration’s latest move to bully the ICC into not probing possible war crimes by US military and intelligence officials. The exec order stops investigations, detentions and prosecutions of US citizens alleged to have perpetrated global crimes.

The go-ahead to sanction ICC officials has triggered widespread international condemnation from human rights bodies, civil society organisations, human rights lawyers, global officials and academics. On 23 June, 67 member states, including South Africa, came out strongly in support of the ICC as an independent and impartial judicial body. In opposition to the US exec order, they issued a statement showing their commitment to fight immunity for the most barbaric crimes. The ICC said: “An attack on the ICC represents an attack against the interests of victims of atrocity crimes, for many of whom the Court represents the last hope for justice.”

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