Our Voices

International Criminal Court’s Work Blunted by Petty Campaign

Human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy describes how US state department sanctions are hampering the ICC’s efforts to fight atrocities across the globe

Your report (Human rights lawyers sue the Trump administration for ‘silencing’ them, 1 October) sheds much-needed light on an unprecedented effort to undermine and dismantle global efforts to fight impunity.

Carrying on the legacy of my late father at Robert F Kennedy Human Rights involves holding perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable before the international criminal court (ICC). In recent months, our work has focused on holding government officials accountable for enforced disappearances in Venezuela and calling for the ICC to prosecute members of the Myanmar military who recently admitted involvement in the slaughter of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

These efforts have been blunted by the US state department’s petty and political campaign against the ICC, which includes imposing sanctions last month on its chief prosecutor and another key staff member. While we are not named plaintiffs in this lawsuit, we echo its complaints. Our international team of lawyers, too, has had to alter research, and its ways of helping victims of atrocities, due to fear of these ridiculous sanctions.

Kerry Kennedy

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