USA reveals those to be denied visa

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"I'm announcing a policy of US visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of USA personnel", Pompeo told a news conference in Washington.

Pompeo said that the visa restrictions would not be the end of Washington's efforts.

The head of State said he hopes to convince the ICC to change course in Afghanistan from taking action inconsistent with US views.

The Trump administration threatened in September to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States and sanction funds they have there if the court launched a probe of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Human Rights Watch called the announcement a "thuggish attempt to penalize investigators" at the court.

John Bolton harshly condemned the ICC in one of his first speeches after becoming Trump's national security advisor in September.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced new restrictions regarding probes from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC and its supporters, including human rights groups that denounced Pompeo's announcement, argue that it is needed to prosecute cases when a country fails to do so or does an insufficient job of it.


The ICC, which is located in The Hague, Netherlands, was formed to investigate and prosecute war crimes and other crimes against humanity when national governments were unable to act.

Echoing Bolton's broader denunciations of the ICC past year, Pompeo on Friday highlighted that the United States-under both Democratic and Republican presidents-has refused to join the court for more than two decades "because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers and the threat it poses to American national sovereignty".

"These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allies' personnel, including Israelis", the secretary of state added.

A State Department official said the United States would allow court officials to travel for meetings to the United Nations headquarters in NY. In a statement he said that the court is "non-political and "an independent and impartial judicial institution crucial for ensuring accountability for the gravest crimes under worldwide law".

Daniel Balson, advocacy director at Amnesty International USA, noted that this is just "the latest attack on international justice and international institutions by an administration hellbent on rolling back human rights protections".

The secretary of state said visas could also be withheld from ICC personnel involved in conducting probes of USA allies, specifically Israel. The United States has rejected the ICC since the body was first proposed during the Clinton administration, claiming it would be used by U.S. enemies for politically motivated attacks against Americans serving overseas, especially USA service members.

The International Criminal Court is supported by 123 nations, including Switzerland.

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