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Trump signs Caesar Act sanctioning Assad regime

Orient Net | 2019-12-21 11:23 Damascuss

A woman reacts as she looks at a gruesome collection of Caesar's images at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
US President Donald Trump signed defence policy bill on Friday (December 20) that seeks to punish Bashar Assad and his allies with sanctions for crimes committed during the brutal war.

The bill, Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2019, authorizes additional sanctions and financial restrictions on institutions and individuals doing business with the Assad regime.

The act is named after a Syrian military photographer who leaked tens of thousands of gruesome pictures of 11,000 victims who were systematically tortured to death by the Assad regime.

The photographs showed evidence of starvation, beating, strangulation and other forms of torture.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the passage of the Caesar Act "an important step in promoting accountability for the large-scale atrocities" carried out by Assad and his regime.

"Caesar has dedicated his life to seeking justice for those suffering under the Assad regime’s brutality. This new law brings us closer to doing just that," Pompeo said in a statement.

The act seeks to hold those responsible for killings civilians, impose sanctions and travel sanctions on those who support the Assad regime as well as denying the regime financial resources used to fuel his campaign of violence.

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"The Caesar Act sends a clear signal that no external actor should enter into business with or otherwise enrich such a regime," said Pompeo.

“The President signed into law the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019” (the Caesar Act), an important step in promoting accountability for the large-scale atrocities Bashar al Assad and his regime have carried out in Syria. The Caesar Act is named after a former photographer for the Syrian military who risked his life to smuggle thousands of photographs out of Syria that document the torture and murder of prisoners inside Assad regime jails. Caesar has dedicated his life to seeking justice for those suffering under the Assad regime’s brutality.  This new law brings us closer to doing just that,” US Department of State said in a statement.  

“The Caesar Act provides the United States tools to help end the horrific and ongoing conflict in Syria by promoting accountability for the Assad regime.  It also holds accountable those responsible for the widespread death of civilians and for numerous atrocities including the use of chemical weapons and other barbaric weapons.  The law provides for sanctions and travel restrictions on those who provide support to members of the Assad regime, in addition to Syrian and international enablers who have been responsible for, or complicit in serious human rights abuses in Syria.  The law also seeks to deny the Assad regime the financial resources used to fuel his campaign of violence and destruction that has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.  The Caesar Act sends a clear signal that no external actor should enter into business with or otherwise enrich such a regime,” the statement added.

The statement stressed that the United States will continue to promote accountability efforts like the Caesar Act. Our work is directed towards answering the calls of Syrian people for a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict in line with UNSCR 2254.

"I have seen horrendous pictures of bodies of people who had tremendous amounts of torture," Caesar told lawmakers back in 2015.

The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act will slap new sanctions on Assad regime leaders and imposes sanctions on companies, states and individuals that back the Assad government militarily, financially or technically, including Russia and Iranian regime.

Based on AA, Agencies

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