Summary: H.R.5961 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5961. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (09/08/2016)

Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2016

This bill directs the Department of State to provide assistance to entities taking specified criminal and judicial actions against individuals who are suspected of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes in Iraq since January 2014 or in Syria since March 2011.

The State Department shall encourage foreign governments to identify and prosecute individuals who are suspected of committing such crimes, including members of foreign terrorist organizations operating in Iraq or Syria.

The Department of Justice shall review existing criminal statutes concerning genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes to determine:

  • the extent to which U.S. courts have jurisdiction over such crimes where the perpetrators or victims are U.S. nationals, residents, or persons present in a U.S. territory;
  • current statutes that would apply to such conduct and whether additional statutory authorities are necessary; and
  • the extent to which the absence of criminal statutes defining the crimes or granting jurisdiction impede their prosecution in U.S. courts.

The State Department shall identify:

  • threats of persecution, genocide, crimes against humanity, and forced migration against members of Iraqi or Syrian religious or ethnic groups with respect to whom the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has committed such crimes in Iraq or Syria since January 2014 or who are members of other persecuted religious or ethnic groups;
  • humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs of these individuals; and
  • assistance provided by the United States, the U.N., and other entities, including faith-based entities.

The Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1990 is amended to:

  • include as a category for U.S. refugee determinations aliens who are or were nationals and residents of Iraq or Syria and who share common characteristics that identify them as targets of persecution on account of religion or membership in an ethnic minority in such foreign states,
  • include in such category aliens who are or were nationals and residents of Iraq or Syria and who are members of a religious or ethnic community against which genocide has been committed or that has otherwise been identified as a persecuted group, and
  • extend such Act's coverage to refugee applications submitted before October 1, 2017.