Representative Foxx and Representative Engel Introduce War Crimes Reward Expansion Act
WASHINGTON – Reps. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C. and Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y. and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today introduced bipartisan legislation to empower national courts and governments in their fight to bring perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to justice by the swiftest and most effective means possible.
Statement by Representative Foxx:
“Each year, the War Crimes Rewards Program notices awards of millions of dollars to individuals around the globe for information concerning the whereabouts of fugitives from international criminal tribunals. Informants worldwide are encouraged to turn in critical information about war criminals and severe human rights abusers which result in monetary rewards. This program is an important tool in the fight to bring the perpetrators of global atrocities to justice.
We are introducing the War Crimes Reward Expansion Act in hopes of preventing future victims of war crimes committed by the likes of Joseph Kony. The most egregious abusers of human rights should fear the full weight of the justice that America and its allies can bring to bear. While it’s important to rely on international tribunals in extraordinary circumstances, sovereign states should maximize the prosecutorial tools at their disposal.”
Statement by Representative Engel:
“The War Crimes Rewards Program is a proven tool in America’s effort to bring the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide to justice. It has helped lead to arrests in cases from the former Yugoslavia to Rwanda, but heinous criminals in many other parts of the world continue to evade justice,” said Rep. Engel. “That’s why I support the War Crimes Reward Expansion Act, which will clarify that rewards can be paid for arrests and convictions whether they take place under domestic or international law. By doing so, we are sending a clear message that America will continue to stand against human rights abusers and war criminals abroad.”
Specifically, H.R. 3851 would:
· Amend the Department of State Rewards Program
· Allow rewards to be paid for arrests or convictions of foreign nationals accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide under the statutes of individual countries – including the United States – in addition to the laws of international tribunals
· Expand the scope of rewards that can be paid to individuals for providing information that leads to the arrest, conviction, or prosecution of perpetrators for gross violations of international human rights law