Switzerland regrets US’ move to impose visa restrictions against ICC officials, threats of economic sanction

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Switzerland’s foreign ministry has said on Friday the country regrets the United States move to impose visa restrictions over the members of the International Criminal Court (ICC), investigating alleged Washington war crimes in war-torn Afghan country, adding the ICC must not be subjected to the political sanctions.

In a statement on Friday, the foreign ministry said, “Switzerland regrets that the United States of America has imposed visa restrictions against officials of the International Criminal Court and threatened to adopt further sanctions. The Court is independent and bound only by law. It must therefore not become the target of political measures.”

The ministry further noted that the country was among those 123 countries that have supported the ICC, adding all states were fully obliged to prosecute and punish the crimes, according to Sputnik news reports.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has on Friday announced that Washington would be imposing a visa restriction as well as possible economic sanctions over the members and individuals linked to the ICC or its investigation into an alleged war crime committed by US personnel in Afghanistan and allies, especially Israel.

Washington has repeatedly condemned the ICC, stating it poses a threat to the US sovereignty and threatened to ban the court’s judges from entering the USA.

In response, the court has said it would continue to do its work in accordance with the principles of the rule of law, despite criticism and threats by the US president Donald Trump administration.

In 2017, the court said it would carry out a more detailed investigation into the abuses by the US military in Afghanistan.



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