FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY, 13 2024
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SETF is proud to announce that the Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023 (HR3202), introduced in the House of Representatives in May 2023, is now scheduled for deliberation on the floor this Tuesday, February 13th.
In early 2022, in light of several regional and European governments resuming relations with the Assad regime, the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) began advocating for the necessity of a US legislation to hinder this trend and further isolate the regime.
The Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023 will ensure US policy prohibits any official action to recognize or normalize relations with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar al-Assad, citing the regime’s past and ongoing crimes against the Syrian people. It intends to actively oppose any other government’s recognition or normalization of relations with Assad’s government by fully enforcing sanctions outlined in the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 and Executive Order 13894, the latter which includes blocking property and entry of certain individuals involved in Syria. Additionally, the bill seeks to utilize all available authorities to deter reconstruction efforts in areas under Assad’s control and prohibits any federal official or employee from taking actions or allocating funds that imply U.S. recognition of Bashar al-Assad or his government in Syria.
Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp underscores the importance of this bill:
As the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice for President Barack Obama, I dealt directly with the Assad regime’s terrible war crimes, working closely with a defector named “Caesar” who brought us irrefutable proof of the Syrian regime’s responsibility for the torture and murder of thousands of its citizens. Caesar’s photos are now part of a body of evidence that is stronger than what we had against the Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. I am proud to support this bipartisan bill which would strengthen the Caesar Act and impose costs for normalization with the Assad regime. Nothing in this bill is controversial— in fact much more needs to be done to seriously confront Assad’s war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the regime and its allies.
At a time marked by the advancement of Assad’s normalization all over the world, this legislation marks a substantial step forward. It is important that US policy becomes law to prevent the future alteration of this life-saving stance that has hindered the funding of Assad’s machinery of death. SETF welcomes the upcoming consideration of the Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023 and urges all stakeholders to support this critical initiative for the sake of humanity and the pursuit of a more just world.