The States Members of the Rome Convention Should Introduce Amendments That Allow the Prosecution of Anyone Trying To Hinder the Work of the ICC
The ICC Is the Last Resort to Redress Victims of the Most Serious Crimes
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) welcomed the joint declaration signed on November 02, 2020 by seventy-two countries at United Nations, including Australia, Canada, UK and France, in which they reconfirmed their “unwavering support for the Court as an independent and impartial judicial Institution”.
AOHR UK honored the strong stance of the countries regarding the US sanctions and its continuous threats, given that sanctions are “a tool to be used against those responsible for the most serious crimes, not against those seeking justice”, and therefore the international community must not tolerate any attempt to undermine the independence of the court.
AOHR UK pointed out that the US administration during President Donald Trump has been threatening the court’s employees and their family members with sanctions following the court’s Prosecutor Bensouda’s announcement on her willingness to open an official investigation into “war crimes committed in the West Bank, Gaza, east of occupied Jerusalem and Afghanistan.”.
In September, Trump imposed sanctions on the Prosecutor, Fatou Binsouda, and another senior official in the prosecutor’s office.
Since the establishment of the ICC in 2002, Washington has not only refused to recognize its powers or ratify its charter, but it has led a diplomatic campaign immunizing all Americans from being tried under the court’s jurisdiction. Thus, the US administration concluded bilateral agreements with member states of the ICC stipulating that they will not cooperate with the court by arresting any American on their territories.
AOHR UK confirmed that threatening any judicial institution by any means is considered a crime in all national legislation. The idea of the ICC or its employees being threatened and blackmailed never crossed the minds of those drafting the Roma Convention. Therefore, the Assembly of States in the Rome Convention establishing the court, must deal with this case and amend the Rome Convention in a way that allows the opening of official investigations against anyone hindering the work of the ICC by any means, and to impose deterrent sanctions as well in order to protect its employees.
AOHR UK called on the international community and all civil society organisations to provide all kinds of support for the court to continue working on investigating hundreds of crimes and seeking to prosecute war criminals.
AOHR UK also called to ensure the integrity and independence of the ICC and to work on protecting it, its employees and those collaborating with the ICC from any threats.