US Bars Entry For Hague’s War Crimes Investigators

The Associated Press reports:

The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel who try to investigate or prosecute alleged abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere, and may do the same with those who seeking action against Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.

The Hague-based court, the first global tribunal for war crimes, said it would continue to operate “undeterred” by the U.S. action.

Pompeo made good on a threat delivered last September by President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton. The U.S. had already moved against some employees of The Hague-based court, Pompeo said, but he declined to say how many or what cases they may have been investigating.

UPDATE: The ACLU reacts.

The American Civil Liberties Union currently represents Khaled El Masri, Suleiman Salim, and Mohamed Ben Soud — all of whom were detained and tortured in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 — before the ICC as part of its investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed over the course of the armed conflict in Afghanistan since May 2003. Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, issued the following statement in response:

“This is an unprecedented attempt to skirt international accountability for well-documented war crimes that haunt our clients to this day. It reeks of the very totalitarian practices that are characteristic of the worst human rights abusers, and is a blatant effort to intimidate and retaliate against judges, prosecutors, and advocates seeking justice for victims of serious human rights abuses. We won’t rest until we get to the bottom of this, and are considering options on behalf of those potentially impacted by this misguided and dangerous policy.”