Open Letter of Apology to ICC Officials for US sanctions on them

The Trump administration just announced sanctions against two International Criminal Court officials for investigating allegations of war crimes committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It is also an attempt to coerce the ICC into not pursuing the Palestinian Authority’s case against Israel for possible war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank. 

Sign our open letter to show your support for the ICC and demand the sanctions be lifted!


Dear Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda,

We, the undersigned, send this letter to express our support for the vital work that you do, and to apologize for the Trump Administration placing sanctions on you and your colleague, Attorney Phakiso Mochochoko, in an attempt to halt your work. 

The U.S. intervention in Afghanistan has been a dark period of almost 20 years of war. It is widely believed that U.S. troops committed war crimes that range from the bombing of civilians to the torture of detainees. It is the right and the responsibility of the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes and abuses of power — regardless of whether or not it reflects well on the United States. 

We also recognize that the sanctions being placed on you are part of an effort to coerce the International Criminal Court not to open an official probe into whether Israel’s actions during the 2014 war on Gaza and their settlement project in the West Bank constitute war crimes. “We’re also gravely concerned about the threat the court poses to Israel,” the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said about the application of U.S. sanctions on you. The announcement of the sanctions happened only a month after Pompeo promised to “exact consequences” on the ICC if it moved forward with the case against Israel. 

We find it abhorrent and a crime against justice that the Trump administration is trying to impede the ICC’s investigation. Furthermore, it is grossly unjust and inappropriate that you, as an individual, would be punished and have your own economic security jeopardized for simply doing your job. 

We condemn this shameful action taken by the Trump administration. We fully support your investigation into possible war crimes committed by U.S. troops during the war in Afghanistan and an investigation into Israel for possible war crimes against the Palestinian people. We oppose all actions taken by the Trump administration to punish you and to inhibit your work. We apologize on behalf of the American people and the global community that longs for justice, and we demand that the sanctions against you be reversed and that you be free to continue your investigations without interference. 

Thank you for your important and fearless work. 


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