Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-03) has co-sponsored a resolution establishing a Syrian war crimes tribunal. The resolution, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), calls for an immediate ceasefire in Syria and directs the President to work with the international community and the U.N. Security Council to set up a tribunal to investigate war crimes committed by both the Syrian government and rebel groups in the war-torn country.
Recent evidence shows the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its own people. One hundred and ninety-one states have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention banning the use of chemical weapons because they are ‘determined for the sake of all mankind, to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons.’
“The use of chemical weapons is reprehensible and goes against international moral standards,” said Rep. Paulsen. “I oppose the President’s plan for military action in Syria. The appropriate course of action is for the United States to lead an international effort to prosecute those responsible for the use of chemical weapons for war crimes before an international criminal tribunal.”
Cooperation between the United States and the international community has led to successful prosecutions through war crime tribunals in the past, including 67 individuals in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 31 individuals in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and Charles Taylor in the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Read the resolution, H. Con. Res. 51 here.
For more information on Rep. Paulsen’s work in Congress visit www.paulsen.house.gov.