WASHINGTON-The United States of America will no longer be seen as a potential safe haven for war crimes criminals but rather a home where they will pay for their action through the legal and due process.
Well this is so because, the US Congress has finally voted to a bill to expand the US Government’s power to prosecute international war crimes suspects who are in the US, allowing them to be tried in the Federal Court regardless of the Nationality of the victim or perpetrator or where the crimes were committed.
The new law code name : The Justice for victims of war crimes has already been signed by US President Joe Biden, “A victory for victims and survivals of war across the Globe”, Expert say.
“By passing this vital legislation, we are sending a clear message to Vladimir Putin: Perpetrators committing unspeakable war crimes, such as those unfolding before our very eyes in Ukraine, must be held to account,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois”, said in a statement on Thursday.
The decision according to Human Rights Advocates in Liberia also means that there is no more room for war crimes criminals in Liberia as their days to face justice are now numbered.
“We hailed the US President Joe Biden and Congress for such a meaningful decision and a great boost to our advocacy for the establishment of war and economic crimes court in Liberia” ,lead Advocate Adama Dempster said.
He maintained that it is now time that those who committed war crimes against innocent people in Liberia and the globe at large be made to pay for their actions through the legal and due process.
Currently, the quest to seek justice for victims and survivals against war criminals are said to be well on course as the advocacy to close the gap and end impunity against war crimes criminals in order to serve as a deterrent to would be war Crimes criminals have now taken giant size step further.
Amongst other things, The act amends the war crimes provision in the federal criminal code to ensure that U.S. courts can prosecute perpetrators of war crimes who are present in the United States, regardless of the perpetrator or victim’s nationality or where the crime took place.
The amendment was long pushed for by human rights advocates as well as government officials globally including Liberia.
It also brings U.S. war crimes legislation in line with Geneva Convention obligations, and better aligns U.S. jurisdiction over war crimes with that for torture, genocide, and recruitment of child soldiers.
Although the amendment increases the prospect of U.S. prosecutions for war crimes, it will not result in a deluge of war crimes trials.
It can be recalled in March 2022, U.S. authorities arrested Laye Sekou Camara. A resident of Pennsylvania.
During the crisis in 2011, Camara previously served as a leading member of Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), an armed group responsible for more than 18,000 violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Liberia’s civil wars, including shelling, massacres, and summary executions of civilians.
However, rather than facing war crimes charges for his actions in Liberia, Camara instead was charged with immigration fraud for denying prior involvement with armed groups on his visa and green card applications.
The failure to charge Camara with war crimes was due to a legal loophole in the U.S. war crimes statute.
Until last week, U.S. courts could only prosecute war crimes if either the victim or the perpetrator was a U.S. national or a member of the U.S. armed forces.
Thus, despite calling the United States home for more than ten years, Camara,a non-U.S. national accused of war crimes against non-U.S. national victims were immune from war crimes charges.
However, Camara was not the only alleged war criminal escaping justice in the United States.
Federal prosecutors have never brought war crimes charges against any suspect, in part due to the strict nationality requirement.
But not until now and as a result of “The Justice For Victims Of War Crimes new Law”, The days of war crimes criminals are now numbered as they can now be tried in the USA.
A new day for victims and survivals of wars across the globe ” an advocate emphasized.
The timely decision described by expert will also serve as a deterrent to any Russian , from top Generals to foot soldiers , who might commit war crimes in Ukraine and then try to enter the USA even years in the future.