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Helsinki Commissioners Release Statement Acknowledging Human Rights Day

WASHINGTON—Ahead of Human Rights Day on December 10, Helsinki Commission Chairman Sen. Ben Cardin (MD), Co-Chairman Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09), Senate Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (MS), and House Ranking Member Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following joint statement:

“There is no human right, no international commitment, no law of conduct in war that Russia has not broken or violated in Ukraine.

“This has been a devastating year for millions of Ukrainians who had to make the difficult choice to leave their homes and seek safety abroad, for those who remain in Ukraine under the constant threat of Russia’s attacks on civilians and essential infrastructure, and for those who have been deported to Russia, including many children. The carnage left behind by Russian troops in recently liberated areas shows us that Ukrainians still living under Russian occupation are enduring unspeakable brutality and deprivation.

“Human rights defenders in Russia have also faced tremendous persecution by the authorities, a yearslong assault worsened by Putin’s need to control the war narrative. Those who remained in Russia and told the truth about war crimes, like Vladimir Kara-Murza and Ilya Yashin, have been imprisoned. American citizens Paul Whelan and Marc Fogel are unjustly detained. In Belarus, Lukashenko continues to aid and abet Russia’s assault on Ukraine as over 1,400 political prisoners remain in Belarusian jails under miserable conditions.

“The only way to restore respect for human dignity in this region is peace through complete Ukrainian victory and serious consequences in Russia and Belarus.

“In addition to crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine, we are also mindful of violations of human rights across the OSCE region and beyond that continue under the fog of Russia’s war, including attacks and discrimination against ethnic minority groups, the jailing and silencing of journalists and independent media, the rise in Anti-Semitism, assaults on freedom of religion and belief, ongoing human trafficking operations, disenfranchisement, and politically motivated imprisonments and enforced disappearances. We will continue to support those who fight for these rights and against corrupt perpetrators of human rights abuses.”

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Briefings

Ukrainian Culture in Wartime

May 29, 2024

Russia has damaged or destroyed countless Ukrainian museums, libraries, cultural centers, theaters, schools, and sites of religious and historical significance. These physical attacks are accompanied by the Kremlin’s public denigration and even denial of a distinct Ukrainian national identity. This combination of physical destruction and insidious propaganda has by design posed an existential threat to […]

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Press Releases

Wilson, Cohen, Hudson, Veasey Introduce MEGOBARI Act

May 24, 2024

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, U.S. Helsinki Chairman Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02), Ranking Member Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09), Commissioner Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-09), and Commissioner Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33) introduced the bipartisan Mobilizing and Enhancing Georgia’s Options for Building Accountability, Resilience, and Independence (MEGOBARI) Act. This vital legislation aims to bolster democratic practices, human rights, and the rule of […]

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Statements

Helsinki Commission House Leadership Statement on 80...

May 24, 2024

  Today, Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Ranking Member Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09) made the following statement: “We unequivocally condemn the brutal deportation of Crimean Tatars orchestrated by the Soviet regime in 1944. This horrific act, which forcibly uprooted an entire population from their homeland, represents a grave violation of human rights, […]

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Press Releases

HEARING: Supporting Georgia’s Sovereignty and Democracy

May 17, 2024

Tuesday, June 4, 2024 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Room TBD WASHINGTON—The recent adoption of a Russian-style foreign agent law heralds an openly anti-western turn by the ruling Georgian Dream government, and their concomitant alignment with Russia as well as other authoritarian powers such as China. After three decades of a pro-west, democratizing, and Euro-Atlantic-facing […]

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Hearings

Closing the Skies, Liberating Ukraine

May 16, 2024

WASHINGTON—The recent, bipartisan passage of supplemental aid for Ukraine may represent a turning point in the war against Russia’s genocidal invasion. Outgunned and outmanned, Ukrainian forces have lost territory in recent months, but made Russian forces pay a tremendous cost for ultimately moderate territorial gains, with Russian forces suffering nearly 90,000 casualties in taking several […]

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Press Releases

HEARING – Closing the Skies, Liberating Ukraine

May 09, 2024

Thursday, May 16, 2024 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Rayburn 2212 Stream live here: https: https://www.youtube.com/live/AN0aG5BGwI0 WASHINGTON—The recent, bipartisan passage of supplemental aid for Ukraine may represent a turning point in the war against Russia’s genocidal invasion. Outgunned and outmanned, Ukrainian forces have lost territory in recent months, but made Russian forces pay a tremendous […]

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Statements

Helsinki Commission Leadership Honors World Press Fr...

May 03, 2024

WASHINGTON—On World Press Freedom Day, Helsinki Commission Chairman Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02), Co-Chairman Sen. Ben Cardin (MD), Ranking Member Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (MS) issue the following joint statement: “On World Press Freedom Day, we stand in solidarity with courageous journalists globally. We are especially concerned about American journalists […]

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Statements

Helsinki Commission House Leadership Statement on Re...

Apr 25, 2024

“After decades of struggle since regaining its independence, Russian influence is making a comeback in Georgia. To its shame, Georgia’s ruling party, defying the Georgian people’s Euro-Atlantic choice and against the advice of its closest friends, is again pushing a Russian-style foreign agent bill. This bill, alongside other attacks on Georgia’s increasingly diminished democracy, aims […]

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Press Releases

Paul Massaro Appointed Helsinki Commission Staff Dir...

Apr 22, 2024

WASHINGTON — Today, Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) made the following statement: “I am very grateful to appoint Paul Massaro as Staff Director of the Helsinki Commission. He has worked closely with me and my staff for many years advancing legislation to hold dictators to account and further the cause of democracy and Ukrainian victory. I […]

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Hearings

Malta: Leading the OSCE Through Turbulent Times

Apr 16, 2024

  WASHINGTON—The Republic of Malta stepped up to take leadership of the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—demonstrating its commitment to uphold the principles of the organization, including on security, conflict resolution, democracy and human rights.  Two years into Putin’s brutal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, much of the […]

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Press Releases

HEARING – The Republic of Malta: Leading the O...

Apr 10, 2024

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Rayburn 2247 Stream live here: https: https://youtube.com/live/TddF3ycKl1A WASHINGTON—The Republic of Malta stepped up to take leadership of the world’s largest regional security organization—the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—demonstrating its commitment to uphold the principles of the organization, including on security, conflict resolution, democracy and […]

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Statements

Helsinki Commission Senate leadership Statement on R...

Apr 05, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC—In response to the Georgian government’s announcement that it intends in the coming days to reintroduce Russian-style “foreign agent” legislation, U.S. Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Ben Cardin (Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) and Senate Ranking Member Senator Roger Wicker (Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee) issued the following statement: “This is a deliberate attack on […]

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