The Keeper - A Podcast Brought To You By The Lantos Foundation

 
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The Lantos Foundation's podcast, The Keeper, was launched in 2017. Hosted by our own President, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, The Keeper features in depth conversations about some of the most pressing matters of justice in our world and welcomes some of the most important human rights leaders of our time as guests. 

We take our name from Congressman Lantos’ personal conviction, fully lived out in his own life, that we have a moral and ethical obligation to be our brother and sister’s keeper. This guiding principle led Congressman Lantos to found the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and use his eloquence, leadership, and personal passion to advocate fiercely on behalf of those whose human rights were being trampled in every corner of the world.

The Keeper is available for download on Apple Podcasts and will soon be available through Google Play. 

Episode 1 : Jared Genser & Yang Jianli
Episode 2 : Bill Browder

 

 

The First Annual Lantos Rule of Law Lecture

The Lantos Foundation has launched is a new, exciting annual event – the Lantos Rule of Law Lecture. Our inaugural address was delivered by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a prominent businessman who became Russia’s most notable prisoner of conscience from 2003-2013. The first annual Lantos Rule of Law Lecture took place at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC on October 10th. 

Congressman Lantos had an enormous amount of respect and admiration for Johns Hopkins SAIS as one of the great centers of scholarship and debate about international affairs. It is a source of great pride for the Lantos Foundation to have the inaugural Lantos Lecture at this distinguished institution and we feel it truly brings us full circle. Tom had a personal relationship with Mikhail and deeply respected his determination to confront the corruption and political intimidation in Russia despite the evident risks such a principled course of conduct posed. He flew to Moscow at the time of Mr. Khodorkovsky’s first trial to protest the pre-determined verdict of “guilty” from a corrupt legal system that unjustly imprisoned Mikhail for nearly a decade. The combination of Mikhail’s powerful story, his continued efforts to improve the conditions of millions of Russians under Putin’s abusive and undemocratic rule, and Washington’s investigation of Russia’s illegal efforts at interfering in the recent Presidential election, will undoubtedly make this a unique and fascinating event.

Once head of Russian oil giant YUKOS, Khodorkovsky was arrested on false charges of tax evasion and fraud in 2003, after publically criticizing the endemic corruption in Russian President Vladmir Putin’s government. After a farcical trial, he was sentenced to fourteen years in prison.  Khodorkovsky was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, and finally released in December 2013. In 2014, the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the Russian Government had violated international law by taking YUKOS from its shareholders, for political purposes, described as a “full assault on Yukos and its beneficial owners in order to bankrupt Yukos and appropriate its assets while, at the same time, removing Mr. Khodorkovsky from the political arena.” Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the founder of the Open Russia movement. Today, he advocates an alternative vision for his country: a strong and just state, committed to observing human rights, free and fair elections, and the rule of law.

Announcing The Keeper - A Podcast Brought To You By The Lantos Foundation

 
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The Lantos Foundation is excited to announce the launch of our podcast The Keeper. Hosted by our own President, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, The Keeper will feature in depth conversations about some of the most pressing matters of justice in our world and will welcome some of the most important human rights leaders of our time as guests. 

We take our name from Congressman Lantos’ personal conviction, fully lived out in his own life, that we have a moral and ethical obligation to be our brother and sister’s keeper. This guiding principle led Congressman Lantos to found the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and use his eloquence, leadership, and personal passion to advocate fiercely on behalf of those whose human rights were being trampled in every corner of the world.

Our inaugural season will begin with a fascinating interview with two fearless advocates for democracy and freedom in China - Dr. Yang Jianli and Mr. Jared Genser. Yang Jianli is the founder of Initiatives for China and a former jailed human rights activist. Jared is the founder of Freedom Now and one of the most effective and admired human rights lawyers in the world. These extraordinary men address a wide range of topics from the shameful death of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo at the hands of Chinese authorities, to the communist regimes fear that the outside world will recognize how fragile its hold on power really is.

Anti-Genocide Activist Father Patrick Desbois to Receive 2017 Lantos Human Rights Prize

The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice is proud to announce that our highest honor, the Lantos Human Rights Prize, will be awarded to Father Patrick Desbois, President and founder of the international human rights organization Yahad In-Unum. Father Desbois is being recognized as the 2017 Lantos Prize recipient for his unparalleled work in uncovering the lost stories of over one million victims of the “Holocaust by Bullets” period of World War II as well as his continuing fight against anti-Semitism and genocide throughout the world. 

The Lantos Foundation will present their most distinguished prize at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on October 26, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol. Father Desbois joins a distinguished community of prior Lantos Laureates that includes the Dalai Lama, Hillary Clinton, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, and most recently Vian Dakhil (aka “ISIS’ Most Wanted”), who was recognized for her courageous defense of the Yazidi people. It is fitting that Father Desbois should receive the Prize the year following Ms. Dakhil, as he has been outspoken in defense of her Yazidi community - a 21st century victim of genocide at the hands of ISIS.

“At a time when anti-Semitic acts are surging globally, Father Desbois’ work is more important than ever,” said Lantos Foundation President Katrina Lantos Swett. “Exposing the truth, honoring the victims, and memorializing these events are vital safeguards against a repetition of these horrors. But Father Desbois’ work is about more than rescuing and remembering the past. His truly universal calling is to act on behalf of all victims of mass violence, persecution, and murder. The Lantos Foundation is truly honored to recognize him for this noble mission.”

The Lantos Foundation established the Lantos Human Rights Prize in 2009 to honor and bring attention to heroes of the human rights movement. It is awarded annually to an individual or organization that best exemplifies the Foundation’s mission, namely to be a vital voice standing up for the values of decency, dignity, freedom, and justice in every corner of the world. The prize also serves to honor the memory and legacy of the late Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the U.S. Congress and a leading advocate for human rights during his nearly three decades as a U.S. Representative.

Lantos Foundation Successfully Lobbies to Keep Anti-Semitism Envoy

This morning the US State Department has proposed cutting nearly half its Special Envoy and At-Large Ambassadorial positions in order to streamline and refocus operations. It gives me great satisfaction to report to you that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has decided to retain the posts of both the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. The Lantos Foundation is proud to have played a role in bringing about this important victory.  

Earlier this year, we launched the 2017 Solidarity Sabbath Initiative re-asserting our nation’s commitment to lead on defending religious freedom and combatting the scourge of anti-Semitism. We organized an unprecedented letter from former Ambassadors for Religious Freedom and Special Envoys to Combat Anti-Semitism from both Republican and Democratic Administrations in which they urged the current Administration to uphold our values by appointing outstanding individuals to fill these posts which were still vacant at the time. 

In the months following our Solidarity Sabbath efforts, there have been mixed signals from the State Department about our requests. In a positive development, late July brought the appointment of an Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. But as you may recall, during Congressional testimony earlier this summer, Secretary Tillerson had suggested that the Administration was considering leaving the Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism post unfilled. We immediately wrote to Secretary Tillerson urging the Administration to retain this post as a key component of America’s efforts to combat global anti-Semitism.

I reminded him that my late father, Congressman Tom Lantos, played the lead role in passing the legislation that created the post of Special Envoy. I know my father would not stand idly by at a time of growing anti-Semitism if our government were to downgrade our commitment to fighting against this insidious evil. In our letter to the Secretary I wrote: “I am baffled that the Administration would ignore the hard won wisdom and experience of Congress’ only Holocaust survivor and choose to leave this post vacant. This is disrespectful not only to the memory of my father but to all those who have fought against anti-Semitism for so long.”

It is good news indeed that the Administration will keep this essential office open and we intend to be vigilant in ensuring that an individual of the utmost skill and expertise is appointed to fill this position. America has long been a beacon to the world when it comes to combating anti-Semitism in all its forms. In the aftermath of the horrifying events in Charlottesville just a few weeks ago, we must redouble our efforts to confront and defeat anti-Semitism both at home and abroad. Only by doing so can we retain the mantle of moral leadership on this fundamental question of human rights and justice.

 

Katrina Lantos Swett
President
Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice 

Human Rights Activists Call on Trump to Hold China Responsible for Liu Xiaobo's Death

August 15, 2017
For Immediate Release
 

Contact:
Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett
(603) 226-3636

The Chen Guangcheng Foundation
cgcfoundation1@gmail.com

 

Human Rights Activists Call on Trump to Hold China Responsible for Liu Xiaobo's Death

A broad group of human rights activists including the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and The Chen Guancheng Foundation have called on President Trump to apply the Global Magnitsky Act to those in the Chinese government responsible for the death of Liu Xiaobo.

The international community continues to be alarmed about the fate of Liu Xiaobo's widow, Liu Xia. This family has suffered an unspeakably unjust tragedy. We cannot stand by and allow such tragedy to be repeated. World governments must use their influence to urge the Chinese government to release her immediately. They must also do whatever is in their power to hold China accountable for these injustices.

"Liu Xiaobo’s death at the hands of the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the ongoing abuse of his widow are both a personal tragedy and an egregious affront to the civilized world and a challenge to democratic nations.

By its conduct in the case of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia, the Chinese government has made it clear that it believes it can violate international standards of law and justice with impunity. The United States must now use the Global Magnitsky Act to send an equally strong message that this nation, founded in liberty and justice, will stand by its principles and the laws that govern and guide it."

Statement on Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom Appointment

The Lantos Foundation welcomes the announcement that President Trump will move forward with filling the post of Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom. In May of this year as part of the Foundation's annual Solidarity Sabbath Initiative, we called upon the Trump Administration to act quickly to fill both the Ambassador at Large post as well as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. With today's announcement that the administration will nominate Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas as our Religious Freedom Ambassador, the President has taken an important step towards ensuring that America will continue to offer global leadership to those who suffer from brutal religious persecution around the world.We urge the President to move swiftly to now name a Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism. The need for this post is as great as for the Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom and we look forward to hearing a positive announcement about this position in the near future.   

Senator John McCain

Senator John McCain is an American hero and one of the finest public servants our nation has ever had. Tom Lantos deeply admired his friend and colleague and it has been a great privilege for the Lantos Foundation to work with Senator McCain to advance human rights and justice around the world. He is still the brave fighter who served our country so many decades ago and we are praying that he will win this new battle in his life.