In the News

News Update

November 24th, 2014

By Kayleen Jacobson, News and Policy Associate

United States: Chicago-based activists of We Charge Genocide testified at the United Nation’s Committee Against Torture hearing about torture regularly perpetrated by police against youth of color. The group was joined by the Ferguson to Geneva delegation, which also covered the issue of police brutality and discrimination. The UN committee questioned US representatives on the prevalence of black victims of police shooting and the use of military-grade weapons by officers.

Germany: A 93-year old German man who was a former bookkeeper at Auschwitz during the Nazi Holocaust is facing trial as a war criminal. Oskar Groening, the defendant, describes himself as a “small cog in the gears” of Hitler’s Germany and does not find himself guilty of aiding and abetting crimes associated with genocide. The trial will begin in February.

Thailand: Officials have detained dozens of Uighurs, Muslims from western China, who fled ethnic violence in their Chinese home. The group is being detained in Thai shelters with inadequate living standards. Chinese officials have condemned the Uighurs’ “illegal immigration.” However, the government’s use of religious and cultural restrictions on the group has led them to flee China. The Uighurs have claimed Turkish descent and have requested to be transferred to Turkey or Malaysia. Human Rights Watch supports their resistance to forcible return to China.

Darfur: The Sudanese government has requested the joint peacekeeping force of UNAMID (United Nations and African Union) to create an exit plan, expressing a failure to fulfill its goal of promoting peace and establishing security. UNAMID recently criticized the government for barring investigations in alleged mass rape of women and girls by the Sudanese military in Darfur. The UN Security Council has requested that UNAMID be given full access to investigate the rape allegations.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Milorad Trbic, convicted in 2009 of committing genocide in Srebrenica, may be released after the Bosnian Constitutional Court ordered a retrial. Although the Bosnian court has provided retrials before for war criminals, Trbic is the first to be given a retrial who was not an aid to the crimes but a direct perpetrator. He was formerly sentenced to 30 years in prison. The UN criticized these decisions for a lack of protection for victims and consistency in justice.

North Korea: The UN has officially condemned human rights violations by North Korea by referring nation’s leaders to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. Although this is the most significant move in addressing human rights abuses in North Korea, the resolution may not pass the UN Security Council. North Korea retaliated with comments on the possibility of conducting nuclear weapons testing.

Legislative Update

November 24th, 2014

Genocide

H.R.5706 : Nazi Social Security Benefits Termination Act of 2014: To deny Social Security benefits and other benefits to individuals whose citizenship has been revoked or renounced on the basis of their participation in Nazi persecution.
SponsorRep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-12] (introduced 11/13/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Bilirakis, Gus M. [FL-12] – 11/18/2014
Rep Castor, Kathy [FL-14] – 11/13/2014
Rep Chaffetz, Jason [UT-3] – 11/13/2014
Rep Cicilline, David N. [RI-1] – 11/13/2014
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] – 11/13/2014
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-21] – 11/18/2014
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 11/13/2014
Rep Frankel, Lois [FL-22] – 11/18/2014
Rep Grimm, Michael G. [NY-11] – 11/18/2014
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-20] – 11/19/2014
Rep Hinojosa, Ruben [TX-15] – 11/19/2014
Rep Horsford, Steven A. [NV-4] – 11/20/2014
Rep Israel, Steve [NY-3] – 11/13/2014
Rep Jackson Lee, Sheila [TX-18] – 11/18/2014
Rep Johnson, Henry C. “Hank,” Jr. [GA-4] – 11/13/2014
Rep Kilmer, Derek [WA-6] – 11/13/2014
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-2] – 11/13/2014
Rep Lance, Leonard [NJ-7] – 11/13/2014
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-2] – 11/13/2014
Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-5] – 11/18/2014
Rep Meng, Grace [NY-6] – 11/18/2014
Rep Murphy, Patrick [FL-18] – 11/13/2014
Rep Speier, Jackie [CA-14] – 11/13/2014
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] – 11/18/2014
Rep Waxman, Henry A. [CA-33] – 11/18/2014
Latest Major Action: 11/13/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

 

H.R.5739 : No Social Security for Nazis Act: To amend the Social Security Act to provide for the termination of social security benefits for individuals who participated in Nazi persecution, and for other purposes.

SponsorRep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] (introduced 11/19/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Becerra, Xavier [CA-34] – 11/19/2014
Rep Black, Diane [TN-6] – 11/19/2014
Rep Blumenauer, Earl [OR-3] – 11/19/2014
Rep Buchanan, Vern [FL-16] – 11/19/2014
Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] – 11/19/2014
Rep Camp, Dave [MI-4] – 11/19/2014
Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-9] – 11/19/2014
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] – 11/19/2014
Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-14] – 11/19/2014
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] – 11/19/2014
Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario [FL-25] – 11/19/2014
Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-35] – 11/19/2014
Rep Esty, Elizabeth H. [CT-5] – 11/19/2014
Rep Fincher, Stephen Lee [TN-8] – 11/19/2014
Rep Fudge, Marcia L. [OH-11] – 11/19/2014
Rep Gerlach, Jim [PA-6] – 11/19/2014
Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] – 11/19/2014
Rep Jenkins, Lynn [KS-2] – 11/19/2014
Rep Joyce, David P. [OH-14] – 11/19/2014
Rep Kelly, Mike [PA-3] – 11/19/2014
Rep Lance, Leonard [NJ-7] – 11/19/2014
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] – 11/19/2014
Rep Levin, Sander M. [MI-9] – 11/19/2014
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] – 11/19/2014
Rep Nunes, Devin [CA-22] – 11/19/2014
Rep Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [NJ-9] – 11/19/2014
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-13] – 11/19/2014
Rep Reichert, David G. [WA-8] – 11/19/2014
Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-38] – 11/19/2014
Rep Schock, Aaron [IL-18] – 11/19/2014
Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13] – 11/19/2014
Rep Smith, Jason T. [MO-8] – 11/19/2014
Rep Speier, Jackie [CA-14] – 11/19/2014
Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-5] – 11/19/2014
Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] – 11/19/2014
Latest Major Action: 11/19/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

 

S.RES.586 : A resolution calling on the Government of Burma to develop a non-discriminatory and comprehensive solution that addresses Rakhine State’s needs for peace, security, harmony, and development under equitable and just application of the rule of law, and for other purposes.
SponsorSen Menendez, Robert [NJ] (introduced 11/20/2014)

Cosponsors: Sen Booker, Cory A. [NJ] – 11/20/2014
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] – 11/20/2014
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 11/20/2014
Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] – 11/20/2014
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] – 11/20/2014
Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] – 11/20/2014
Sen Markey, Edward J. [MA] – 11/20/2014
Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] – 11/20/2014
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 11/20/2014
Latest Major Action: 11/20/2014 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

 

H.RES.754 : Condemning the Government of Iran for its gross human rights violations.
SponsorRep Royce, Edward R. [CA-39] (introduced 11/14/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-16] – 11/14/2014
Latest Major Action: 11/19/2014 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On motion to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution Agreed to by voice vote.
Latest Action: 11/19/2014 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

Hate Crimes

H.R.5711 : To amend title 18, United States Code, to extend the coverage of the Federal prohibition against hate crimes in order to provide greater protections to persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Sponsor: Rep Brady, Robert A. [PA-1] (introduced 11/14/2014)

Cosponsors: Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] – 11/14/2014
Rep Meehan, Patrick [PA-7] – 11/14/2014
Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13] – 11/14/2014
Latest Major Action: 11/14/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Human Trafficking

H.RES.763 : Expressing support for designation of November 20 through November 26, 2014, as “End Child Slavery Week” to raise awareness of human rights abuses against children and to acknowledge the global fight against child slavery and child labor.
Sponsor: Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] (introduced 11/20/2014)
Latest Major Action: 11/20/2014 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.