US revokes visa of ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

US revokes visa of ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

Fatou Bensouda

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has had her entry visa to the US revoked.

The decision is believed to be the country’s response to Ms Bensouda’s investigation into alleged war crimes committed by American forces in Afghanistan.

The US secretary of state had warned that America might refuse visas to ICC staff involved in such probes.

Ms Bensouda’s office, however, said she would continue to discharge her duties “without fear or favour”.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of US personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you will still have or get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States.”

“We’re prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the ICC does not change its course,” he added.

A report from the ICC published in 2016 said there was a reasonable basis to believe that the US military had tortured people at secret detention sites in Afghanistan operated by the CIA and that the Afghan government, as well as the Taliban, had committed war crimes.

The US is one of a dozen or so nations that have failed to join the ICC, which was established in 2002 and had been ratified by 123 countries, including the UK.

China, India and Russia are among the countries who have refused to join.

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