The Acts of the Democracies

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2003

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) opens in the Netherlands. The opening is boycotted by the USA which opposes the ICC and has refused to sign up. 89 countries have signed the treaty that will allow people accused of genocide or crimes against humanity to be tried under legal international conditions.

During the first months of the existence of the ICC, the USA puts pressure on the world's poorer countries to sign agreements not to send USA citizens, soldiers and officials for trial to the Court. By threatening to stop trade, economic aid or military support, the USA gets 43 countries to sign, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bolivia, Cambodia, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Philippines, Romania, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

35 countries refuse to sign and have $50 million military and economic aid suspended. These include Colombia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia and the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.

The Baltic states call the decision a "slap in the face" as they had supported the USA in its invasion of Iraq.

Belgium had passed a law in 1993 that allowed the prosecution of war crimes. The law is watered down after economic pressure by the USA.

© 2017, KryssTal


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