The following resolution was passed by the IADL Bureau meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 6 April 2019:
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers expresses its strongest condemnation of the U.S. government’s revocation of the visa of Ms. Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This action comes as an act of impunity in retaliation for the ICC’s decision to engage in a preliminary examination of allegations of U.S. and allied war crimes in Afghanistan.
The United States is engaged in a systematic and ongoing attack on international accountability and institutions. Earlier, the U.S. threatened to impose further sanctions on Palestinian institutions in order to compel them not to seek accountability for Israeli human rights abuses and violations before the International Criminal Court.
This comes as part of a U.S. attempt to proclaim impunity for itself and its allies, even as it draws into sharp relief the fact that, in reality, the ICC has served primarily as a mechanism to prosecute African leaders and others in the Global South. It has so far failed to provide a venue or take meaningful action in cases of war crimes committed by the U.S. and its allies.
Nevertheless, the U.S. – which has refused to sign the Rome Statute – has withdrawn Ms. Bensouda’s visa in an attempt to escape all accountability for war crimes committed during its 17-year-long military invasion and occupation in Afghanistan. It also marks an attempt to intimidate the International Criminal Court and other international institutions and prevent it from fulfilling its responsibility to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The United States is a leading force of imperial domination, military invasions and impunity in the world today. We call upon the U.S. government to immediately reverse this action targeting the ICC chief prosecutor and to rescind its additional threats of sanctions against all parties participating in legal efforts to hold the U.S. and its allies accountable. Furthermore, we urge the international community as a whole to take action to hold the U.S. accountable for these actions as well as for its ongoing involvement in war crimes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
6 April 2019