Afghans protest against the United States in Kabul, Afghanistan – 06/26/2016 Musadeq Sadeq / AP / VEJA
The White House announced on Thursday that President Donald Trump had authorized economic sanctions and visa restrictions against prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigating war crimes committed by American troops during the Afghanistan war.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the ICC's actions are “an attack on the rights of the American people and threaten to infringe on our national sovereignty”, and that the Court is partisan and ineffective in investigating only the United States and its allies, like Israel.
The risks of escalating political tension for democracy Read in this issue: how the crisis weakens institutions, the examples of countries beginning to emerge from isolation and the Weintraub family's legal battleClick and Subscribe
The ICC was created in the early 2000s with the signing of the Treaty of Rome, and with the aim of investigating, prosecuting and punishing individuals who have committed crimes against humanity. In March, the Court unanimously granted an appeal that appealed to a decision against opening the investigation. The task of investigating the United States was passed on to prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
Bensouda, who has been collecting information on crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban and Afghan security forces since 2006, said during the trial that there is enough information to prove that the United States “committed acts of torture, cruel treatment, outrages of dignity personnel, rape and sexual violence ”in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004. Subsequently, the CIA would also have committed the same crimes on illegal bases in Poland, Romania and Lithuania. The prosecutor's visa was canceled by the White House.
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In September 2018, the court had already confirmed that it would investigate American war crimes without feeling shaken by Trump's threats against his judges.
On that occasion, former United States National Security Adviser John Bolton defended the “exceptionality” of American policies in relation to the international court. The ICC replied that it would not be intimidated or deterred from its global mission.
Violence in Afghanistan increased in 2019. According to the annual report of the United Nations (UN), the death of civilians by the Afghan security forces and the American military increased by 13% compared to 2018. The Taliban and the Islamic State branch in the country were responsible for 1,668 deaths, an increase of 8%. According to the Pentagon, the United States was responsible for the deaths of 132 civilians in Afghanistan in 2019.