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AHI Applauds Senator Cardin’s Statement on Violation of Human Rights in Turkish-occupied Cyprus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Nick Larigakis
February 2, 2011—No. 6 (202) 785-8430


AHI Applauds Senator Cardin’s Statement on Violation of Human Rights in Turkish-occupied Cyprus


Helsinki Commission Chair Calls for Removal of Restrictions on Religious Freedom in Occupied Cyprus


WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds a statement by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) that called the disruption of Christmas liturgy by security services at Agios Synesios in the Turkish-occupied Cypriot town of Rizokarpaso “appalling” and the act “should be roundly condemned by people of good will.”  He also called for the removal of restrictions on religious freedom in occupied Cyprus.

“We applaud Senator Cardin’s call to remove restrictions on religious freedom in Turkish-occupied Cyprus and view it as significant because he chairs the U.S. Helsinki Commission and is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” AHI President/COO Nick Larigakis said.  “Under the senator’s leadership, the Helsinki Commission has done an exceptional job of documenting the destruction of religious and cultural heritage in Turkish-occupied Cyprus.  We encourage the senator’s colleagues on Capitol Hill to join with him in the call for the removal of religious restrictions in occupied Cyprus and to denounce the egregious violation of human rights and religious freedom that occurred in Rizokarpaso on Christmas.”

Senator Cardin also expressed concern about the State Department’s tendency to “downplay” the difficulties faced by Orthodox Christians to hold services in occupied Cyprus.

Sen. Cardin chairs the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  The senator entered the statement into the Congressional Record on January 25, 2011.  To view the senator’s statement, please click here.

To view AHI’s statement condemning the cancellation of Christmas church services in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, please click here.

The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at pr@ahiworld.org. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.