"We're prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the ICC does not change its course," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.
'The United States will impose visa restrictions on people responsible for any International Criminal Court (ICC) probe, a move aimed at preventing the court from pursuing the United States and its allies regarding their actions during and after the invasion in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday.
In September, the Trump administration said that if the court launched a probe of war crimes in Afghanistan, it would consider banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, sanctioning funds they have there and prosecuting them in U.S. courts. Washington took the first step on Friday with Pompeo's announcement.
"I'm announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel," Pompeo told a news conference in Washington. "These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies' consent."
Pompeo said the policy was already being implemented but would not elaborate, citing visa privacy laws.
"These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts," he said. "We're prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions, if the ICC does not change its course."
A director at Human Rights Watch, Andrea Prasow, described the announcement as a "thuggish attempt to penalize investigators" at the court.
"Taking action against those who work for the ICC sends a clear message to torturers and murderers alike: their crimes may continue unchecked," she said and calling on U.S. lawmakers to rescind the move and express support for the international court.'
Read more: 'Thuggish': Trump Imposes Visa Bans on ICC Staff Probing US War Crimes in Afghanistan