Biden administration urged to repeal ICC sanctions
© WikiMedia (Vincent van Zeijst)
Biden administration urged to repeal ICC sanctions

A coalition of more than 70 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), faith-based groups and academic institutions called Wednesday on the Biden administration to repeal sanctions against key members of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The coalition’s members include the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Commission of Jurists, the World Organization Against Torture and Parliamentarians for Global Action. The request comes as the Biden administration is reflecting on whether to maintain sanctions that were introduced by the Trump administration under Executive Order 13928 last June. The order had allowed for economic sanctions against officials of the ICC who were involved in the investigation or indicting of US military personnel without the consent of the US.

The order had been introduced as a result of the ICC Prosecutor’s investigation into war crimes allegedly committed in the context of the armed conflict between pro-government forces and anti-government forces in Afghanistan, which had also included actions allegedly committed by members of the US military, intelligence, and other personnel in or relating to its Afghanistan mission.

In a communique, the organizations stated:

Keeping in place the executive order authorizing sanctions would be inconsistent with the new administration’s laudable commitments to respecting the rule of law and pursuing multilateral cooperation in support of U.S. interests. It would also transform a shameful but temporary action into a standing license for other governments to attack multilateral institutions when they disagree with those bodies’ actions.

The Biden administration is yet to respond to the coalition’s communique.