Immunität für US-Soldaten vor dem ICC, 13.06.2003 (Friedensratschlag)
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Immunität für US-Soldaten vor Internationalem Gerichtshof verlängert

Doppelstrategie der USA - Immunitätsabkommen mit einzelnen Staaten (so-called Article 98 agreements)

Seit In-Kraft-Treten des Gründungsvertrags am 1. Juli vergangenen Jahres haben die USA viele Hebel in Bewegung gesetzt, um sich der Gerichtsbarkeit des Haager Strafgerichtshoffes (International Criminal Court-ICC) zu entziehen. Dabei verfuhren sie zweigleisig:
  • Einmal haben sie bilaterale Verträge mit einzelnen Staaten abgeschlossen, die dem ICC beigetreten sind oder noch beitreten wollen. Im Kern geht es in all diesen Veträgen darum, dass US-Soldaten und andere US-Bürger wegen Vergehen, die unter das Statut des ICC fallen, in dem betreffenden Land nicht behelligt und auch nicht an das ICC ausgeliefert werden. Bis heute (Juni 2003) sind 37 solcher bilateraler Verträge geschlossen worden. Viele von ihnen harren aber noch der Ratifizierung durch die jeweiligen Parlamente. Eine vollständige Liste der Staaten, die mit den USA einen Vertrag abgeschlossen haben, befindet sich im Anhang. Dazu gibt es jeweils kurze Erläuterungen in englischer Sprache.)
  • Zum anderen haben die USA vor einem Jahr im UN-Sicherheitsrat einen Beschluss durchgesetzt, der ihren Soldaten, wenn sie im Auftrag der Vereinten Nationen irgendwo in der Welt tätig sind, Straffreiheit für "zunächst" ein Jahr gewährte. Am 12. Juni 2003 nun hat der UN-Sicherheitsrat diese Immunitätserklärung um ein weiteres Jahr - bis zum 1. Juli 2004 - verlängert.
Dieses Zugeständnis galt aber nicht nur für die USA. Auch Soldaten anderer Staaten, die das ICC-Statut nicht unterschrieben haben, genießen für den beschlosenen Zeitraum Immunität vor dem ICC. Zwölf der 15 Mitglieder des UN-Sicherheitsrats stimmten für einen entsprechenden Antrag der USA. Deutschland, Frankreich und Syrien enthielten sich der Stimme. Der stellvertretende französische UN-Botschafter Michel Duclos sagte, die Verlängerung drohe die Autorität des Gerichtshofs zu schwächen.

Ähnlich sah das wohl auch UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan. Jedenfalls hatte er sich vor der Abstimmung strikt gegen die ursprüngliche Forderung der USA nach dauerhafter Immunität ausgesprochen. Dies würde nicht nur das Haager Tribunal, sondern auch die Glaubwürdigkeit des Sicherheitsrats und der UN-Friedensmissionen untergraben, sagte Annan.

In der vergangenen Woche warnten die USA die EU vor einer Verschärfung der transatlantischen Spannungen wegen des Streits um den Internationalen Strafgerichtshof. Schritte der Europäer, die den US-Bestrebungen um Straffreiheit für amerikanische Soldaten entgegenstünden, würden die Entspannungsbemühungen untergraben, hieß es in einem Schreiben Washingtons an die EU-Regierungen. Die USA riefen den Sicherheitsrat zu einer raschen Abstimmung in der Frage auf.

Der frühere US-Präsident Bill Clinton hatte den Vertrag zur Errichtung eines UN-Gerichtshofs für Kriegsverbrechen und Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit 1998 unterzeichnet. Sein Nachfolger George W. Bush lehnte eine Ratifizierung jedoch ab mit der Begründung, dass US-Friedenssoldaten dann willkürlichen Strafverfolgungen ausgesetzt sein könnten.

Signatories of US Impunity Agreements (so-called Article 98 agreements)

Updated: June 11, 2003

Abreviated Summary

S = Signatory to the Rome Statute
SP = State Party to the Rome Statute
N = Neither Signatory nor State Party
* = indicates that the bilateral agreement has been ratified by Parliament

  1. Romania (SP)
    Romania was the first country to agree to a bilateral impunity agreement with the US. The agreement was signed on August 1, 2002. It is not reciprocal and ratification is still necessary. According to President Ion Iliescu, Romania "will wait for a joint position of the European institutions before ratifying it in parliament." (Source: Financial Times, 9/27/2002)
  2. Israel (S)
    A reciprocal bilateral agreement was signed between Israel and the United States on August 4, 2003. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and US Undersecretary of State John Bolton signed the agreement. Ratification is still necessary. (Source: Agence France Presse, 8/4/2002)
  3. East Timor (SP)
    The East Timorese Foreign Minister Jose Ramos-Horta signed an accord in Washington DC with US Secretary of State Colin Powell on August 23, 2002. In a press release issued during the September 2002 Assembly of State Parties, East Timorese officials reported that the desirability of enacting the bilateral agreement into domestic law was still under consideration. Approval by the Parliament and President is necessary for ratification. (Source: AFP, 8/27/2003)
  4. Tajikistan (SP)
    Agreement signed on August 27, 2002. This reciprocal agreement provides immunity from prosecution by the ICC for 1 year. (Source: Russian Vlast Journal, 7/16/2002)
  5. Marshall Islands (SP)
    An agreement was signed on September 10, 2002. No further information is available.
  6. Dominican Republic (S)
    Agreement signed on September 13, 2002. No further is information available.
  7. Palau (N)
    Agreement signed on September 13, 2002. No further information is available.
  8. Mauritania (N)
    Agreement signed on September 17, 2002 between US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman and Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dah Ould Abdi. No further information is available. (Source: Mauritanian news agency AMI, 9/19/2002)
  9. Uzbekistan (S)
    Agreement signed on September 18, 2002. Ratification remains necessary. No further information is available.
  10. Honduras (SP) *
    Agreement signed on September 19, 2002. The Parliament ratified the agreement on May 29, 2003.
  11. Afghanistan (N)
    Agreement signed on September 20, 2002. No further information is available.
  12. Micronesia (N)
    Agreement signed on September 24, 2002. No further information is available.
  13. Gambia (SP)
    Agreement signed October 5, 2002. No further information is available.
  14. El Salvador (N)
    El Salvador signed a bilateral agreement on October 25, 2002. (Source: Associated Press)
  15. Sri Lanka (N)
    Reciprocal agreement signed on November 22, 2002 between U.S. Ambassador Ashley Wills and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando. (Source: AP Worldstream, 11/22/2003)
  16. India (N)
    Agreement signed on December 26, 2002 by Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal and US Ambassador Robert Blackwill. According to the agreement, neither country will surrender persons of the other country to any international tribunal without the other country's express consent. The agreement defines "persons" as current or former Government employees, military personnel or nationals of either country. (Source: Hindu Times of India, 12/27/2002)
  17. Nepal (N)
    Agreement signed on December 31, 2002 between US Ambassador to Nepal Michael E. Malinowski and Nepal's Foreign Secretary Madhu Raman Acharya. The agreement is reciprocal. (Source: AFP, 12/31/2003)
  18. Djibouti (SP)
    Agreement signed on January 24, 2003, between US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Djibouti's Foreign Minister Ali Abdi Farah at a State Department ceremony (Source: AFP, 1/24/2003).
  19. Tuvalu (N)
    An agreement with Tuvalu was signed on January 30, 2003. No confirmed information is available. (Source: New York Times, 2/6/2003)
  20. Bahrain (S)
    Agreement was signed on February 6, 2003. No other confirmed information is available. (Source: State Department briefing with Richard Boucher, 2/3/2003)
  21. Georgia (S) *
    Agreement between Georgia and the United States was signed on February 10, 2003 in Tbilisi. The agreement is reciprocal. (Source: Reuters, 2/13/2003) The Georgian parliament reportedly ratified the agreement on May 7, 2003. (Russian news agency Interfax, via BBC, 5/7/2003))
  22. Azerbaijan (N)
    The US and Azerbaijan have signed a bilateral agreement on February 26, 2003, granting immunity for both countries' citizens from possible prosecution by the ICC. Azerbaijani envoy to the USA, Hafiz Pasayev, and the US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, Elizabeth Jones, signed the document, in the presence of Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev. (Source: ANS TV, Baku, 2/27/03) Updated: June 11, 2003
  23. Nauru (SP)
    Nauru has signed a bilateral agreement with the United States on 26 February 2003. President Dowiyogo of Nauru signed the agreement in a State Department Treaty Room ceremony (Sources: New Zealand Herald, 3/4/03; The Weekend Australian, 4/5/03)
  24. Rwanda (N)
    Agreement between US and Rwanda was signed on March 4, 2003 by US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Rwandan Foreign Minister Charles Murigande. (Source: AFP, 3/3/03)
  25. Democratic Republic of Congo (SP)
    An agreement has reportedly been signed. No further information is available. (Source: AFP. 4/2/03)
  26. Tonga (N)
    An agreement has reportedly been signed. No further information is available. (Source: AFP. 4/2/03)
  27. Sierra Leone (SP) *
    The United States signed a bilateral agreement with Sierra Leone on March 31, 2003. The agreement was signed in Freetown by US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner and Sierra Leone's Justice Minister Eke Ahmed Halloway. (Source: AFP, 4/2/03) According to the Sierra Leone Parliament’s website, the Parliament voted on May 6, 2003 to ratify the bilateral agreement with the United States, “under which the two countries agree not to turn over each other's nationals accused of war crimes to the newly-formed International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.”
  28. Gabon (SP)
    According to an Agence France Press article, an agreement has reportedly been signed (Source: AFP, 5/2/03)
  29. Ghana (SP)
    According to an Agence France Press article, an agreement has reportedly been signed (Source: AFP, 5/2/03)
  30. Madagascar (S)
    According to an Agence France Press article, an agreement has reportedly been signed (Source: AFP, 5/2/03)
  31. Maldives (N)
    According to an Agence France Press article, an agreement has reportedly been signed (Source: AFP, 5/2/03)
  32. Albania (SP)
    An agreement was signed on May 2, 2003, between Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano and US Secretary of State Colin Powell. (Source: AFP, 5/2/03)
  33. Bhutan (N)
    An agreement was reportedly signed on May 2, 2003. No further details are available. (Source: Agence France Presse, 5/20/03)
  34. Philippines (S)
    Philippine Foreign Secretary Blas Ople concluded an executive agreement in an exchange of notes with US Secretary of State Colin Powell on May 13, 2003, shortly before a state visit to Washington by President Gloria Arroyo. (Source: Agence France Presse, 6/2/03)
  35. Bosnia-Herzegovina (SP) *
    US Ambassador to Bosnia Clifford Bond and Bosnian Justice Minister Slobodan Kovac signed a bilateral agreement on May 16, 2003, granting the non-extradition of US citizens in Bosnia to the ICC. US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz attended the signing of the pact. The agreement covers immunity to members of the U.S. Army and all other U.S. citizens in Bosnia-Herzegovina, however, does not apply to non-Americans employed with U.S. diplomatic missions or other organizations in Bosnia. The agreement was ratified by the Bosnian House of Representatives on June 6, 2003. (Sources: AFP, 5/16/03; Deutsche Presse- Agentur, 5/16/03; Washington Post, 6/7/03)
  36. Bolivia (SP)
    An agreement has reportedly been signed. No further information is available.
  37. Egypt (S)
    An agreement has reportedly been signed. No further information is available.



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