Dr Kevin Bannon says the US demeans the international criminal court, while Dr Gill Gregory is troubled by Labour’s stance on the WikiLeaks founder and Ian Sinclair clarifies what Diane Abbott said on the Today programmeWhatever Julian Assange’s legal position (Letters, 13 April), the UK authorities should be aware of the US’s approach to international law. In May 2002, the US withdrew its acceptance of the Rome statute, under which the international criminal court had been created, threatening to release – by military force if necessary – any indicted US citizens who might come to be legitimately held at The Hague. In August 2002, the US threatened to withdraw aid from countries that refused to recognise the immunity of US military personnel from ICC prosecution. Even the US-based Human Rights Watch described this as “blackmail”.
The US continues to withhold recognition of the ICC, which it openly demeans, revoking the visa of its chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, this month, merely for declaring the ICC’s intention to investigate US servicemen and CIA personnel for their possible roles in war crimes and other abuses.