Chairman Royce Remarks: Inside Syria’s Torture MachinePress Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) participated in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s event to recognize the atrocities and crimes against humanity suffered by Syrian civilians. The event included a photo display entitled, “Inside Syria’s Torture Machine,” which documents the Assad regime’s torture and execution of innocent Syrian civilians including women and children.
Chairman Royce’s remarks (as prepared for delivery) follow:
“Three years ago, the brave man we call ‘Caesar’ courageously smuggled thousands of photographs out of Syria that show the torture and murder carried out by the regime of Bashar al-Assad on an industrial scale. These photos demonstrate that the Assad regime targeted Syrians of all faiths – including Sunnis, Shias, Christians, and Alawites.
Ceasar could have been killed. But he risked his own life so that he could show the world irrefutable evidence of these atrocities. And he brought these photos to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The easy thing to do would be to look away. To pretend it’s not happening. To say that the killing there, doesn’t matter to us here.
But we know that’s not true. And we know that faced with these horrific acts, we’ll be judged on our response.
To me, the eerie thing about Caesar’s photos is how much they remind me of the pictures my father returned home with from World War II. He was part of the allied forces that came upon a liberated Dachau.
High school students he lectured about World War II often asked why the world was so asleep to Hitler’s concentration camps? And he often explained that there was very little visual evidence before the Allied victory.
But when it comes to Syria today – what is our excuse?
So I am honored to have worked with Ranking Member Engel on the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act – named for the brave man who smuggled out these photographs. This legislation is being reintroduced this week.
The Syrian people have suffered enough.”