Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
December 19, 2011
CHAIRMAN SMITH CALLS FOR FINAL PASSAGE OF BELARUS DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACT OF 2011
WASHINGTON—On Monday, December 19, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to call for support of his “Belarus Democracy and Human Rights Act of 2011,” expected to be brought to the floor Tuesday for a final vote.
“I thank the distinguished chairwoman for yielding and join her first in mourning the passing of Vaclav Havel, the great President and human rights crusader, one of the founders of Charter 77, a magnificent human rights manifesto, that took the Helsinki final act and turned it into a very durable and tangible program of action for the people of Czechoslovakia. Charter 77 has been replicated all over the world… .”
Click here to read the Chairman’s remarks.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.
Media Contact: Shelly Han
# # #
Citizenship and Political Rights
Freedom of Association
Freedom of Speech and Expression
Freedom of the Media
International Humanitarian Law
Prevention of Torture
Right of Peaceful Assembly
Rule of Law/Independence of Judiciary