ICC Seeks Accountability For Human Rights Violators

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The International Criminal Court (“ICC” or “the Court”) has joined the world in marking Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on this day by the United Nations in 1948, turns 75 this year. It is an important milestone in the protection of human rights worldwide. This year’s theme, “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All”, resonates particularly with the Court’s mandate. The ICC seeks accountability for those who have perpetrated the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression. Victims are at the heart of the Court’s proceedings and deserve justice. Through its work, the Court can help protect and uphold the rights of people to live in peace, equ­­ality and dignity. “This cause… is the cause of all humanity.” These words were spoken by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, when this Court was created, when the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, took effect. That sentiment resonates still today. In these troubled times, both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rome Statute are needed more than ever.  The ICC said it will continue its work for the cause of justice with determination and resilience. For all people of the world to benefit equally from the protection of the law, the ICC said it encouragees all States to accede to the Rome Statute, “so we can work together towards a more just world. On the heels of the celebration, current City Mayor of Monrovia, and Secretary General of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Jefferson Tamba Koijee was listed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanction designated.” According to the United States Treasury Department, Koijee has a reputation for stoking violence and has a powerful grip on Monrovia’s youth. He controls paramilitary-style organizations associated with the CDC which allegedly recruits former combatants and recently released prisoners. OFAC has reason to believe that Koijee has instructed these organizations to violently disrupt demonstrations conducted by government critics or political opposition. Koijee and his supporters have been involved in violence in connection with: an opposition rally in July 2022, students attending a memorial service for former Liberian president Amos Sawyer in March 2022, an anti-rape protest in August 2020, a student graduation ceremony in December 2019, and an opposition rally in November 2018. Koijee has also engaged in corrupt acts, including bribery and misappropriation of state assets for use by private political movements and pressuring anti-corruption investigators to halt corruption investigations. Koijee is being designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse and for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery pursuant to E.O. 13818.

 

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s actions, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person. The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior.theindependentprobe.com

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  1. Yara Gutierrez says

    Yara Gutierrez

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