Blumenthal, Graham Announce Resolution Condemning Syria for Crimes Against Humanity

Statement

By:  Lindsey Graham Richard Blumenthal
Date: April 19, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Today Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), joined by Senators Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirk (R-IL), Collins (R-ME), Cardin (D-MD), Coats (R-IN) and McCain (R-AZ), introduced a bipartisan resolution that denounces the Syrian government for ongoing crimes against humanity and calling on President Obama to take action to hold accountable those responsible.

"Since the start of this conflict, the Syrian regime brutalized its own people, leaving thousands dead as it commits horrific crimes against humanity including the abduction and torture of children. Now is the time for President Obama to use his authority to document such crimes and for the international community to hold Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable for these atrocities. This resolution tells the Syrian people that Americans are with them as they fight for freedom and basic democratic rights," said Blumenthal.

"It's time we speak out against the crimes of the Assad regime and let the Syrian people know we are bearing witness to their plight and suffering," said Graham. "The courage and resilience they have displayed over the past year, in the face of a horrific and ruthless onslaught, defies comprehension. Our resolution allows the Senate to speak with one voice against the atrocities committed by Bashar al-Assad's regime and make sure their crimes against humanity are documented."

Since the uprisings in Syria began in January of 2011, the Syrian government has engaged in torture, abduction, and detention of the Syrian people, including children. This resolution urges the President to use his authority to collect information regarding such incidents in Syria, its leaders, and senior officials, who are responsible for crimes against humanity to hold them accountable for such crimes. Additionally, it urges President Obama to refer the situation in Syria to the newly established Atrocities Prevention Board and other available international legal processes.