House Passes Foxx’s War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 3851, the War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act, authored by Representative Virginia Foxx, by a vote of 407-0. This bipartisan legislation bolsters the abilities of national courts, and the U.S. Government in particular, to bring perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to justice. Representative Foxx issued the following statement:
“A number of courts and tribunals around the world have made it their mission to investigate and convict terrorists and perpetrators of human rights abuses. Unfortunately due to certain limitations, not all courts are equally equipped to accomplish this task. Each year, the War Crimes Rewards Program – run by the State Department – designates financial incentives to individuals in exchange for information regarding the whereabouts of fugitives from international criminal tribunals.
While this program has been successful, I have fought to strengthen our domestic courts in the fight against those who commit crimes of atrocity, such as ISIS. In order to bring these fugitive terrorists to justice, we must arm domestic courts with the ability to prosecute these criminals under the United States’ banner of justice, rather than relying solely on international tribunals. This legislation is critical to ensuring that the members of our justice community at home are fully prepared to take on ISIS fugitives, and will hopefully protect future victims from ISIS genocide and the world’s worst human-rights abusers.”
Specifically, H.R. 3851:
· Amends the Department of State Rewards Program
· Allows 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. The current program only allows for rewards to be furnished solely for the actions of international tribunals.
· Expands the scope of rewards to maximize public awareness against the world’s most serious human rights abusers.