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Sponsors of Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act Respond to UN Findings on War Crimes in Ukraine | U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

WASHINGTON – On September 23, 2022, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine published results that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine. After visiting 27 cities and interviewing 150 witnesses, the commission reported that Russian troops committed brutal executions, indiscriminate attacks and sexual and gender-based violence, including against children during their invasion of Ukraine.

In response to alleged war crimes in Ukraine earlier this year, Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Rep. David N. Cicilline (DR. I.) and Congresswoman Victoria Sparta (R-Ind.) introduced the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act update the current statute of war crimes in the United States to allow the prosecution of war criminals within the jurisdiction of US courts, regardless of the location or targets of their alleged atrocities. The legislation also extends the statute of limitations for war crimes discovered years after they were committed.

“This disturbing report confirms that Russian troops are carrying out heinous attacks on innocent Ukrainians as they continue to wage an unjust war. These inhuman and unprovoked crimes, committed under Putin’s watch, cannot go unpunished. The Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act is necessary to send a strong message that people who commit war crimes are not welcome here in the United States and should be punished, regardless of where their offense was committed,” said Grassley.

“Perpetrators of unspeakable war crimes, like those unfolding before our eyes in Ukraine, must be held to account,” Durbin said. “With the UN’s formation of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, we are sending a clear message to Putin: the world stands by our commitment to Ukraine and the brave Ukrainian people. And as joint chair of the Ukrainian Senate caucus and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I will continue to explore various avenues to ensure he pays the price.

“My heart goes out to all those families and individuals who are suffering because of Putin’s illegal and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine and the horrific atrocities committed by his troops. These war criminals – everyone on the ground, their leaders and, ultimately, Vladimir Putin, cannot be allowed to act without consequence. The United States stands with the people of Ukraine, and we must continue our efforts to both weaken Russia through our regime sanctions and strengthen our support for Ukraine through supplies and aid We must pass the Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act so that at the end of this war, none of these criminals of war escapes justice for the inadmissible acts they have committed in Ukraine”, said Cicilline.

“The atrocities of Russia’s war against the Ukrainian people and prisoners of war are heartbreaking. I have seen and heard it first hand, but these war crimes have now also been confirmed by the UN. The international community cannot remain silent and must hold accountable not only the senior leaders who issue these ruthless orders, but also the military commanders who are willing to obey them,” he added. said Sparta.

Current law allows for the prosecution of people who commit war crimes in the United States or against Americans abroad, but offenders who target non-Americans are not subject to the law even after they enter the United States. United. Justice for Victims of War Crimes Act expands original war crimes jurisdiction to include war criminals found in the United States, even if they never targeted U.S. nationals. This would make it possible to prosecute non-Americans who come to the United States after committing war crimes against Ukrainians.

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