Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today authored a series of provisions designed to increase pressure on the murderous regime of Bashar al Assad.
Berman passed an amendment to H.R. 2106, the Syria Freedom Support Act, that calls for Syrian President Bashar al Assad and his cronies to stand trial before an international criminal tribunal for mass murder, indiscriminate shelling, and systematic human rights violations committed against the innocent Syrian people.
“Bashar al Assad and senior members of his illegitimate and morally bankrupt regime must be brought to justice for their crimes against humanity,” Berman said.
Another Berman provision in H.R. 2106 would extend the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to Syria, which would enable the U.S. “secure, disable, remove, destroy, and establish verifiable safeguards against the proliferation of Syria’s chemical and biological weapons” This will help prevent Syrian WMD from falling into the hands of terrorists after the collapse of the Assad regime.
Yet another Berman provision in the bill would impose severe sanctions on foreign banks that engage in or facilitate transactions with Syria’s security services or its armed forces or that facilitate withdrawal of foreign currency reserves for the Syrian government.
Finally, Berman included a provision in the bill that would deny visas to executives, shareholders, and other senior officials of companies – many of them from Russia and China -- that continue to arm the Assad regime, knowing full well that their weapons will be used to sustain the regime’s murderous assault on its own people.