AAA: The Armenian Assembly Mourns The Loss of Congressman Tom Lantos

Armenian Assembly of America
1140 19th Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]

February 11, 2007
CONTACT: Karoon Panosyan
E-mail: [email protected]


Washington, DC – The Armenian Assembly of America mourns the loss of
Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), a champion of human rights and the only
Holocaust survivor to ever serve in the U.S. Congress. Lantos passed
away early this morning at the age of 80.

First elected in 1980, Lantos served as Chairman of the House Committee
on Foreign Affairs and sat on the Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform. In addition to chairing the House Foreign Affairs Committee,
Lantos co-founded and co-chaired the Congressional Human Rights Caucus,
which helped raise awareness of critical issues around the world and
became a catalyst for bringing Members of Congress together. After
announcing that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus,
Lantos said that he would not seek reelection after concluding his 14th
term in Congress.

As Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Lantos supported adoption
of H. Res. 106, which affirms the historical truth of the Armenian
Genocide. This resolution passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by
a vote of 27 to 21. Lantos also supported an identical measure during
the 109th Congress having reversed his previous opposition to a similar
resolution in 2000.

In addition to his support of H.Res. 106, Lantos also spoke out against
the genocide taking place in Darfur. In April of 2006, Lantos was
arrested at the Sudanese Embassy while protesting against the genocide
in Darfur along with Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Olver
(D-MA), Jim Moran (D-VA), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

"Throughout his career, Congressman Lantos demonstrated great courage
and conviction as he worked tirelessly to address countless human rights
issues," said Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. "We join with Armenian
Americans from across the country in morning his passing and hope that
his important work in defense of human rights will continue to inspire
future generations."

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding
and awareness of Armenian issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt
membership organization.



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