The sanctions announced by the United States administration on 2 September against two Court staff members, including its Prosecutor, provoked the immediate reaction of the EU.

In a statement issued by the High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell pointed out that the “International Criminal Court (ICC) plays an essential role in delivering justice to the victims of some of world’s most horrific crimes. Its independence and impartiality are crucial characteristics of the Court’s work, which are fundamental for the legitimacy of its judgements.

“The sanctions announced by the United States administration on 2 September against two Court staff members, including its Prosecutor, are unacceptable and unprecedented measures that attempt to obstruct the Court’s investigations and judicial proceedings.

“The ICC must be able to work independently and impartially, free from outside interference. The United States should reconsider its position and reverse the measures it has taken. Impunity must never be an option.

“The European Union is unwavering in its support for the universality of the Rome Statute and for the ICC. We will resolutely defend it from any attempts aimed at obstructing the course of justice and undermining the international system of criminal justice.”