Support Justice and the International Criminal Court!
Win Without War
(October 17, 2020) — Last month, the Trump administration announced sanctions on prosecutors of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Yep: officials of an organization built to bring justice to the victims of the world’s gravest crimes — including genocide, rape as a weapon of war, and war crimes — are being unilaterally penalized with a foreign policy tool designed to punish tyrants, war criminals, and drug kingpins.
This move flies in the face of justice, human dignity, and human rights — if those values mean anything to you, then you’ll join me in publicly speaking out against this egregious misuse of authority and fight for the sanctions to be rescinded.
The ICC, of which the United States was a chief architect, was created to bring perpetrators of serious crimes against humanity to justice following atrocities in Rwanda and in the former Yugoslavia. It represents and constitutes part of a global system of international justice stemming from the Nuremberg trials, where the Nazis were prosecuted following the Holocaust.
And the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, is a Gambian lawyer known for prosecuting the worst of the worst — she’s now investigating apparent abuses committed in Afghanistan. According to the prosecution, “There is reasonable basis to believe that, since May 2003, members of the U.S. armed forces and the CIA have committed the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape and other forms of sexual violence pursuant to a policy approved by U.S. authorities.”
And now, in retaliation and to deter any further investigation into these egregious acts, Trump declared a bogus national emergency, almost comically calling the court a threat to U.S. national security, and sanctioned key ICC prosecutors, like Bensouda, and their staff.
It’s been a long three years under this president. Let’s show the world, the Court — and people everywhere who deserve justice — that we are united in support of international justice and against Trump’s attempts to further undermine the rule of law.
In decision after decision, the Trump administration is charting a corrupt course that exacerbates the world’s problems and uses institutions and people — now, victims of egregious crimes against humanity — as props in a power grab.
It’s easy to get lost in statistics in moments like these, to forget that the crimes Bensouda is prosecuting impact real people in Afghanistan — people with families, with people who love them; people with the same kind of hopes, dreams, flaws, and quirks that we all have.
No one deserves to have their loved ones violently torn away. While a path to justice doesn’t make things right, it does create some sense of closure, as well as build broader accountability and create a pathway toward future peace.
The Trump administration’s sanctions on International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko are a new low. These sanctions only serve to undermine a critical institution and will leave people on the frontlines of incredible violence and crimes against humanity at even greater risk.
Victims of serious crimes deserve their chance to seek and receive justice. I sign my name in support of the ICC.
The ICC investigation provides that chance for the United States and Trump’s sanctions seek to destroy it. For those most impacted by this conflict — for all of us who believe in human dignity — let’s reject this horrific move to stand in the way of justice.
Thank you for working for peace, Annika, Faith, Michael, and the Win Without War team