Biden lifts Trump’s sanctions on international court officials

President Joe Biden lifted sanctions imposed by Donald Trump on two senior officials in the International Criminal Court on Friday, taking one of the more aggressive moves of the past administration to international organizations and officials. I canceled it.

In a statement, Byden emphasized that the United States remains strongly opposed to several proceedings by courts, a permanent body based in The Hague, the Netherlands, responsible for handling genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. .. The United States is not one of the approximately 120 member states of the court.

“But we believe that our concerns about these cases will be better addressed through diplomacy than by imposing sanctions,” Biden wrote in lifting the action.

The removal of sanctions was the latest signal that the Biden administration intends to return to a multilateral regime. The Trump administration has indiscriminately excluded the United States from many international organizations and agreements, considered others, including the ICC, flawed, and severely criticized them for working against the interests of the United States.

Since Biden took office, his administration has returned to the World Health Organization, rejoined the UN Human Rights Council, returned to the climate change agreement in Paris, and held talks aimed at returning to the Iran nuclear agreement on Friday. Started. Trump has withdrawn from all five.

Courts were established to detain responsible perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the absence of an appropriate judicial system. The United States has not participated in the ICC, which went into operation in 2002 after a sufficient number of countries have ratified the treaty that created it. This is because courts can be used to prosecute US military and officials for political motivation.

Friday’s rights group praised Biden for abandoning Trump’s sanctions — Amnesty International called them “vandalism” against international justice — but supported the work of the courts and made the United States a member. By doing so, I asked Biden to go further.

U.S. sanctions targeted ICC Supreme Prosecutor Fatubensuda and Court Chief Faxomochochoco for pushing the investigation into the United States and its allies, especially Israel, on suspicion of war crimes. .. Two sets of sanctions were imposed. The first was a ban on travel to Bensuda in March 2019, and 18 months later, the assets she and Mochochoco could hold in the United States or US jurisdictions were frozen. In the second round, there were also attacks that could be subject to sanctions by giving the pair “critical support”.

Both sets of sanctions were roundly criticized not only by the ICC itself, but also by many court members and human rights groups. When former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fined in September 2020, he attacked the court as a “totally broken and corrupt institution” and “accepted illegal attempts to subdue Americans in their jurisdiction.” I won’t. “

The US president since Bill Clinton has expressed deep reservations about the court, but some presidents, including President Barack Obama, have agreed to limited cooperation with the court.

However, the Trump administration was openly hostile to the court and accused Bensuda and others of seeking prosecution of Americans for action in Afghanistan and Israel for action against Palestinians. Israel is not a member of the ICC and, along with the United States, refuses membership because Palestinians are not a nation.

Mr Biden said the United States sees accountability for atrocities as a national security benefit, noting US support for other, often temporary, global courts.

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