|Washington, DC, June 6, — This evening the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act (H.R. 390.) The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ)–who visited Iraq last December to meet with Christian survivors of the ISIS genocide—with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) along with 15 original cosponsors.
Many of the Christians who are currently displaced in Northern Iraq have received no assistance from the U.S. government, despite the millions of dollars our government has poured into relief efforts for Iraq.
“Unless Christians begin receiving assistance from the international community, including from the U.S. government, they are going to continue leaving Iraq, which is not in the interests of the United States. This legislation will ensure that the U.S. government is assisting the organizations that are effectively serving these communities,” said IDC Executive Director Philippe Nassif.
This legislation also directs the United States to provide funding and other assistance to support entities that are conducting criminal investigations, building Syrian and Iraqi investigative and judicial capacity, collecting evidence, and preserving the chain of evidence for eventual prosecution.
Congressman Smith, the lead sponsor of the legislation said, “Unless perpetrators are held accountable for targeting religious minorities, these communities will be even more endangered throughout the Middle East.”
“IDC commends the House of Representatives for passing this important legislation and urges the Senate to swiftly pass a companion bill,” said Nassif.