Letters / / 02.17.21

75 Non-Governmental Organizations, Faith-Based Groups, and Academic Institutions Call for the Biden Administration to Repeal ICC Sanctions

The Sentry joins a coalition of 75 NGOs, faith-based groups, and academic institutions who are calling for the Biden administration to repeal sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The full letter is below, and attached here.


More than 70 Organizations, Faith-Based Groups, and Academic Institutions Call for the Biden Administration to Repeal ICC Sanctions

The undersigned organizations urge the Biden Administration to engage constructively with the International Criminal Court (ICC). The U.S. government’s support for the ICC could help secure justice for victims in situations from Myanmar to Darfur, just as it helped facilitate the February 4 historic conviction of a former leader of an armed rebel group for war crimes and crimes against humanity in northern Uganda.

There is an immediate need to act to reset U.S. policy regarding the ICC. Most urgently, we are alarmed by recent calls for the U.S. government to maintain or even expand the sanctions put into place by the Trump administration in June 2020 currently targeting the court’s work.

These actions were an unprecedented attack on the court’s mandate to deliver justice and the rule of law globally, an abuse of the U.S. government’s financial powers, and a betrayal of the U.S. legacy in establishing institutions of international justice. They were also an attack on those who engage with the court, including human rights defenders and victims. These extraordinary measures have put the U.S. at odds with many of its closest allies. They also have been challenged on constitutional grounds domestically.

Keeping in place the executive order authorizing sanctions would be inconsistent with the new administration’s laudable commitments to respecting the rule of law and pursuing multilateral cooperation in support of U.S. interests.  It would also transform a shameful but temporary action into a standing license for other governments to attack multilateral institutions when they disagree with those bodies’ actions.

We call upon the U.S. government to rescind Executive Order 13928 and all sanctions measures against ICC officials at the earliest possible opportunity. We appeal for constructive engagement with the ICC and we urge the Biden administration and members of Congress to support that approach.

This statement was coordinated by the Washington Working Group for the International Criminal Court (WICC), an informal and nonpartisan coalition of diverse NGOs, including human rights organizations, faith based groups, professional associations, and others. WICC meetings are co-convened by Veronica R. Glick and Rebecca A. Shoot, who may be reached for comment at [email protected]

The Advocates for Human Rights

Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

Amnesty International USA

Anti-Torture Initiative, American University Washington College of Law

Associazione Luca Coscioni

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)

Center for Justice and Accountability

Center for the Study of Law & Genocide, Loyola Law School

Center for Victims of Torture (CVT)

Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces

Darfur Women Action Group

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)


European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

Fortify Rights

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Global Justice Center

Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law

Guernica 37 Chambers and Centre for International Justice

Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, City University of New York School of Law

Human Rights First

Human Rights Institute, Georgetown University Law Center

Human Rights Watch

Institute for Policy Studies, Drug Policy Project

Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project

International Association of Democratic Lawyers

International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)

International Criminal Court Alliance (ICCA)

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University School of Law

International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School

InterReligious Task Force on Central America

J Street

Justice for Muslims Collective

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice


National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

Never Again Coalition

No Peace Without Justice

Open Society Foundations

Operation Broken Silence

Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)

Partners in Justice International

Pax Christi USA

Physicians for Human Rights

Presbyterian Church (USA), Office of Public Witness

Project Blueprint

The Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA School of Law


The Rendition Project


Science for Democracy

The Sentry

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows


Students for Sensible Drug Policy

The Syria Justice and Accountability Centre

TRIAL International

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

University of Southern California (USC) Gould International Human Rights Clinic

US Human Rights Network (USHRN)

US Filipinos for Good Governance DC/MD/VA Chapter

Victim Advocates International

War Crimes Research Office, American University Washington College of Law

Western New York Peace Center

Win Without War

Witness Against Torture

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ)

World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP)

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law