Sec. of State Mike Pompeo Threatens International Court and Their Families for Investigating War Crimes

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened the International Criminal Court (ICC) staff and their families on March 17 because the ICC is moving forward with a probe of alleged war crimes committed by the U.S. in Afghanistan and CIA black sites in Poland, Lithuania and Romania during the failed “War on Terror” under President George W. Bush.

Common Dreams reported how the probe had been stalled, but is now back on track:

The ICC’s Appeals Chamber unanimously overturned an April 2019 Pre-Trial Chamber decision that denied a November 2017 request from Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to formally investigate crimes.

Pompeo suggested there would be retaliatory actions against members of the court staff and their families if the probe into aellged war criminals continues:

It has recently come to my attention that the chef de cabinet to the prosecutor, Sam Shoamanesh, and the head of jurisdiction, complementarity, and cooperation division, Phakiso Mochochoko, are helping drive ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s effort to use this court to investigate Americans.

I’m examining this information now and considering what the United States’ next steps ought to be with respect to these individuals and all those who are putting Americans at risk.

We want to identify those responsible for this partisan investigation and their family members who may want to travel to the United States or engage in activity that’s inconsistent with making sure we protect Americans.

Daniel Balson, Amnesty International USA’s advocacy director, fired back against Pompeo’s veiled threats:

Threats against family members of ICC staff who are seeking justice is a new low, even for this administration…. Instead of pursuing the torturers, the U.S. is condemning the investigators, and even their families.

(Sources: Common Dreams, U.S. Department of State)

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