US revokes Bensouda visa over Afghan war crimes

ICC Prosecitor Fatou Bensouda.
The US has revoked the entry visa for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda.

The decision is thought to be the US response to Ms Bensouda’s investigation into possible war crimes by American forces and their allies in Afghanistan.

The US secretary of state had warned that they might refuse or revoke visas to any ICC staff involved in such probes.

Ms Bensouda’s office said the ICC prosecutor would continue to her duties “without fear or favour”.

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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 US.

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

A 2016 report from the ICC said there was a reasonable basis to believe the US military had committed torture at secret detention sites in Afghanistan operated by the CIA, and that the Afghan government and the Taliban had committed warcrimes.

The US, which has been critical of the ICC since it was established, is among dozens of nations not to have joined the court.

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International Criminal CourtFatou BensoudaUSICC