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Public Statements

Expressing Grave Concern of Congress Regarding Continuing Gross Violations of Human Rights and Civil Liberties of Syrian People...

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


EXPRESSING GRAVE CONCERN OF CONGRESS REGARDING CONTINUING GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES OF SYRIAN PEOPLE BY GOVERNMENT OF SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC -- (House of Representatives - September 13, 2004)

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 363) expressing the grave concern of Congress regarding the continuing gross violations of human rights and civil liberties of the Syrian people by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, as amended.

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Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a long-time supporter of human rights in the Middle East and throughout the world. Clearly, I am in support of human rights in Syria. Every human being deserves to be treated with respect and without the fear of persecution and death. I stand firmly against the use of torture, arbitrary arrest and detention. I cannot deny that Syria has a long way to go to meet the human rights standards that we have established. However, I do not believe complete condemnation of the nation of Syria will yield the results we seek. We must continue to push for freedom of the press and greater freedom for women, but I feel that we must engage Syria in a dialogue instead of turning a cold shoulder to them.

I also feel that it is worth reviewing the relationship between Syria and Lebanon. I do not believe we should condemn Syria for their relationship with Lebanon, but we must engage in an examination to determine if the relationship between Syria and Lebanon can be improved. We must seek to build relationships in the Middle East as opposed to tearing them down. Our goal is to establish greater stability and a more free society in the Middle East; to accomplish these lofty goals we must press forward with new initiatives as opposed to complete condemnations.

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