Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
April 16, 2008
U.S. HELSINKI COMMISSION JOINS WITH EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS TO EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR TIBETAN PEOPLE
Sign Statement Urging the Chinese Government to Respect Human Rights
(Washington, DC) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairmen of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Ranking Minority Members Congressman Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), along with Helsinki Commissioners Congressmen Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Hilda Solis (D-CA), joined with members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly in signing a statement of solidarity with the people of Tibet. The statement expresses support for the basic human freedoms and dignity of the Tibetan people and pledges continued attention to all individuals and communities worldwide who seek to exercise their basic inalienable rights.
After the Members of Congress signed the statement in Washington last week, the statement was signed on Monday, April 14 in Copenhagen, Denmark by the following Members of Parliament: the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Goran Lennmarker (Sweden); Ms. Walburga Habsburg-Douglas (Sweden); Mr. Wolfgang Grossruck (Austria); Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Canada); Ms. Tone Tingsgaard (Sweden); Mr. Jean-Charles Gardetto (Monaco); Ms. Pia Christmas-Møller (Denmark); Senator Anne-Marie Lizin (Belgium); and Mr. Joao Soares (Portugal).
Copies of the statement have been sent to President Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and International Olympic Committee Chairman Jacques Rogge. (Please find below a copy of the statement or click here for an official copy with signatures)
“We express our strong support for the basic human freedoms and dignity of the Tibetan people and their yearning for autonomy and cultural respect. We view the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing as an opportunity to reaffirm the principle that respect for human rights is essential to stability and security. We believe that the fundamental human freedoms expressed in the United Nations Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the Fundamental Principles of Olympism are universal and must be respected, and promoted by all nations. Our hope is that through dialogue and mutual respect, peace and freedom will ultimately prevail in Tibet, and throughout China, and indeed throughout the world. We pledge our continuing attention and support to all individuals and communities throughout the world seeking to exercise their basic and inalienable rights.”
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
Media Contact: Lale Mamaux
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Citizenship and Political Rights
International Humanitarian Law
Rule of Law/Independence of Judiciary