FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2017
H.R. 390: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passes Genocide Bill
USCIRF Chairman Mark calls committee action “a key step toward helping victims of ISIS genocide”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) praises the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s passage of H.R. 390, the “Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017.” USCIRF urges the full Senate to quickly take up this urgently needed legislation, the House to swiftly reconsider it, and the President to expeditiously sign it into law.
“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has targeted religious and ethnic minorities and others throughout Iraq and Syria,” said USCIRF’s Chairman Daniel Mark. “Two U.S. administrations have singled out ISIS for committing genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shi’a Muslims. Now greater steps must be taken to give these groups the aid, protection, and justice they deserve. Delay only further endangers them and makes accountability more difficult.”
As passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, H.R. 390 would provide emergency relief for victims of genocide, crimes against humanity in Iraq and Syria, address urgent humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs, and provide accountability for perpetrators of these crimes.
“This past April, pursuant to the 2016 Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, USCIRF recommended that ISIS in Iraq and Syria be designated as an Entity of Particular Concern,” said Chairman Mark. “This latest legislation is a key step toward helping victims of ISIS genocide.”
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or John D. Lawrence, Director of Communications (JLawrence@USCIRF.gov/ +1-202-786-0611).