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Association against Impunity and for Transitional Justice continues to reject strong attacks against the International Criminal Court as the US names Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Head of the OTP's JCCD Phakiso Mochochoko for sanctions. We firmly stand with the ICC and we urge States Parties to condemn and reject this latest travesty against justice. AITJ continues to reject both the Executive Order signed in June and the sanctions imposed pursuant to that Executive Order, which also included restrictions on visas for unnamed ICC staff involved in “efforts to investigate US personnel”. The announcement of sanctions against Fatou Bensouda, ICC Prosecutor, and Phakiso Mochochoko, Head of the OTP’s Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division (JCCD), by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday is yet another outrageous step in the ongoing assault by the United States on justice, accountability and the rule of law. The sanctions issued yesterday appear designed to halt the ICC’s investigations into the crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan and to impede the work of the whole Court, whose governing body is supposed to be meeting in New York this coming December at United Nations Headquarters. AITJ continue to believe that these and prior actions by US officials constitute an offence against the administration of justice under article 70 of the Rome ICC Statute that can and should be investigated and prosecuted before the ICC. States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court must raise their voices in support of the Court and in support of the victims on whose behalf the Court works. AITJ expect from States Parties the use all diplomatic means necessary to encourage the United States to revoke this appalling order and scale back their attacks. We encourage also civil society to work together to find concrete solutions to ensure these sanctions do not have an adverse impact on those individuals mentioned yesterday, named and unnamed, as well as other sanctions that now appear increasingly likely to be imposed in the future.

Pier Antonio Panzeri

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