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L. American Human Rights Body Condemns US Pressure over ICC
The Latin American Association for Human Rights (ALDHU) on Thursday condemned the United States for the latter's suspension of military aid to countries refusing to grant Americans immunity from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a statement, the ALDHU described the US decision as illegitimate, abusive, arbitrary and imperialist. It also saw it as a flagrant threat to international law.

The ALDHU hailed the refusal of those Latin American countries, including Ecuador, to sign an agreement with the United States, saying their decision was "brave."

The United States on Tuesday announced the suspension of its military assistance of more than 47 million US dollars to some 35 countries for not signing bilateral accords to give immunity to US citizens and troops from the ICC.

Besides Ecuador, Latin American countries affected by Washington's decision were Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru and Venezuela.

Created under a 1998 treaty, the court was established to prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity cases against nationals of countries unwilling or unable to try the cases themselves. Inaugurated in March, it was supported by 78 nations and is charged with prosecuting crimes committed after July 1, 2002.

Washington, which doesn't recognize the authority of the ICC, has been busy forging bilateral accords on its citizen's immunity from the ICC.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2003)

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