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EU shares concerns after US revokes entry visa of ICC chief

ANI | Updated: Apr 06, 2019 20:48 IST

Brussels [Belgium], Apr 6 (ANI): A day after the United States revoked entry visa for the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda the European Union (EU) has expressed its concerns about Washington's policy towards ICC.
According to Sputnik International, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s Office stressed that according to the Rome Statute governing the ICC, Bensouda has an "independent and impartial mandate".
"The European Union reiterates its serious concern about the US policy towards the ICC", the spokesperson of the European External Action Service stated extending support to the ICC.
Asserting that the ICC plays a key role in the fight against impunity, the spokesperson said, "The EU emphasises that protecting the neutrality and judicial independence of the ICC is paramount to its effectiveness and proper functioning."
US revoked the visa for ICC chief over a possible investigation into alleged war crimes by US troops in Afghanistan.
Last month, US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo had warned that the US would revoke or deny visas to ICC personnel who led an investigation into the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US troops in Afghanistan.
Pompeo had said that the restrictions apply to "persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation." He had even threatened to impose economic sanctions "if the ICC does not change its course."
In November 2017, Bensouda had sought authorisation to open an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan.
According to a statement issued then, the ICC "determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe" that the members of the US armed forces and the CIA committed "war crimes."
However, Pompeo slammed the probe as an example of "politically motivated prosecutions of Americans."
"The first and highest obligation of our government is to protect its citizens and this administration will carry out that duty," Pompeo was quoted as saying.
Last month, Pompeo had further noted that the visa restrictions "may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursed allied personnel including Israelis without allies' consent."
Palestine has urged the Hague-based judicial body to carry an investigation on Israel for its alleged human rights abuses in the occupied territories.
The United States is not a part of the ICC which aims at bringing justice to the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity. (ANI)