US Signs 10th ICC Immunity Deal With Honduras.
The United States continued its slow but steady push to sign agreements exempting US troops from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with as many countries as possible, inking its 10th such deal with Honduras, the State Department said Friday. US and Honduran officials signed the so-called "Article 98" agreement in Washington on Thursday, capping a successful week of diplomacy in which three other deals were also reached, said Lynn Cassel, a department spokeswoman. Signatories of the agreements pledged not to extradite US soldiers for prosecution to The Hague-based court that Washington virulently opposes.
Also signing Article 98 agreements this week were Uzbekistan, Mauritania and the Dominican Republic. The other countries to have signed Article 98 agreements with the United States since the court came into being on July 1 are East Timor, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Romania and Tajikistan. Only four of the 10 countries -- Honduras, Tajikistan, Romania and the Marshall Islands -- have signed and ratified the Treaty of Rome that created the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal.
Two others, the Dominican Republic and Uzbekistan, have signed the Rome treaty but not yet ratified it. Washington fears the court may be used as a tool to unfairly prosecute US servicemen and women for political reasons and has warned that it may withdraw military aid to large numbers of countries which refuse to sign Article 98 deals. US diplomats around the world have been racing to negotiate the agreements since July 1 against growing opposition to the pacts, particularly in Europe, where there is strong support for the court.
Source: Agence France Presse - 20Sep02
International Criminal Court
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This document has been published on 04Oct02 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights