Trump admin revokes visa of International Criminal Court prosecutor pursuing Afghan war crimes

The Trump administration revoked the visa of International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda following her inquiry into possible war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Bensouda’s office confirmed the revocation in a statement on Friday, in which the office also emphasized that the chief prosecutor "has an independent and impartial mandate under the Rome statute,” ICC’s founding treaty, The Associated Press reports.

"The Prosecutor and her office will continue to undertake that statutory duty with utmost commitment and professionalism, without fear or favor," the statement added. 


The U.S. State Department also confirmed the revocation in a statement to the news agency on Friday, which also said that "the United States will take the necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and to protect our people from unjust investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court.” 

Last month, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoPompeo violated ethics rules, State Dept. watchdog finds Why the US needs to clear the way for international justice Tim Scott to participate in GOP event in Iowa MORE warned that the U.S. would restrict visas of any ICC staffers who investigate actions by U.S. military personnel over the court’s proposed inquiry into alleged U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan.

“I am announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel,” Pompeo said in remarks at the State Department then.

“This includes persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation. These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies' consent,” he added.

At the time, Pompeo declined to provide details on how many visas could be affected under the new policy but described the restrictions as “part of a continued effort to convince the ICC to change course with its potential investigation and potential prosecution of Americans.” 

“If you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of U.S. personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you will still have or will get a visa or that you will be permitted to enter the United States,” Pompeo said.