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Chairman Kerry on Former President of Liberia Charles Taylor

Washington, DC – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) today issued the following statement:

“These events are important because they should send a chilling message to war criminals that they can't operate with impunity.  Charles Taylor is at last being punished and held accountable for his role in the murder, rape, and mutilation of untold numbers of men, women, and children in Sierra Leone, and now President Obama's Atrocities Prevention Board will lead the U.S. effort to help stop mass atrocities before they happen. Along with the legislation that Senator Boozman and I introduced to expand the State Department’s Rewards Program and help bring mass murderers like Joseph Kony to justice, it was crystal clear this week that the words “never again” are not just a phrase, but a cornerstone of U.S. policy.”

This month, Chairman Kerry introduced bipartisan legislation that would increase the State Department’s abilities to bring those accused of committing mass atrocities, such as Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army – to justice.  The legislation would expand and modernize the existing rewards program run by the Department of State to pursue those who engage in transnational organized crime, including intellectual property rights piracy, trafficking in persons, arms trafficking, and cybercrimes. It would also complement other U.S. law enforcement and Department of Defense efforts.

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