20:38 GMT17 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) condemns new US sanctions that threaten to undermine the common fight against impunity for mass atrocities, President of the Assembly of States Parties O-Gon Kwon said in a statement on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda from Gambia and Phakiso Mochochoko from Lesotho have been added to the Office of Foreign Assets Control's Specially Designated Nationals List.

    "Today the Government of the United States announced concrete measures against the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and a senior staff member in her office. I strongly reject such unprecedented and unacceptable measures against a treaty-based international organisation", O-Gon Kwon said. "They only serve to weaken our common endeavor to fight impunity for mass atrocities".

    O-Gon Kwon stressed that the ICC is an independent and impartial judicial institution that strictly abides by the provisions of the Rome Statute in its operation.

    UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that the United Nations will analyse the possible implications the US decision may have on implementing the UN-ICC Relationship Agreement based on which the cooperation of the two organisations is founded. He added that the UN expects the restrictions would still allow the two officials to travel to work at the UN headquarters in New York, in line with the US obligations under the UN Headquarters Agreement.

    Under the latter agreement, the United States should not impose any obstacles on the movement to or from the United Nations headquarters of UN member states' officials who seek to attend events at the organisation and should promptly issue them visas.

    In March, the ICC authorised the commencement of an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, including US personnel. In response, on 11 June, US President Donald Trump had issued an executive order authorising sanctions against ICC officials.

    agreement, restrictions, prosecutor, Mike Pompeo, US
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