• Press Release

Repealing Sanctions on the ICC is a Critical First Step

April 2, 2021

Responding to the Biden administration repealing the previous administration’s sanctions on International Criminal Court (ICC) staff, Daniel Balson, the advocacy director at Amnesty International USA said:

“Today, the Biden administration took a critical first step towards removing obstacles to international justice and holding human rights abusers around the world accountable. Survivors of human rights abuses turn to the ICC for accountability when the justice system in their countries fails to address the grave injustices that have been perpetrated against them. President Biden has made an important move towards undoing damages done by his predecessor to their courageous cause.

“The decision by the Trump Administration to sanction ICC staff was an act of vandalism against a foundational mechanism of international justice. The Biden administration must now reaffirm the U.S. signature of the Rome Statute establishing the ICC.

“The ICC remains a key mechanism to justice for people who have experienced some of the worst crimes in the world, whether in Myanmar or Darfur. The ICC is a court of last resort; it exists to provide justice in situations where states are unwilling or unable to do so. It is a court for the people, and its staff must be allowed to investigate and prosecute injustice without fearing intimidation. Today, the Biden administration made a down payment towards that goal. But it is far from enough.

“Amnesty International strongly urges the Administration to reaffirm the U.S. signature of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and support its work.” 

Read more from AIUSA:

Amnesty joined over 70 other such organizations to demand the Biden Administration repeal ICC Sanctions (letter)

U.S. Sanctions Against ICC Staff Create Chilling Effect for International Justice (news, September 2, 2020)

Attacks on the International Criminal Court endanger NGO workers (news, June 11, 2020)

Pompeo’s Remarks on the International Criminal Court Are Callous and Punitive (March 18, 2020)

ICC Authorizes Historic Investigation in Afghanistan (March 5, 2020)

The US Must Support ICC Victims of Most Serious Crimes (September 10, 2018)