For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) expressed its condolences to the family and staff of Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), a tireless and fearless defender of human rights, who passed away Monday after a long battle with cancer. Congressman Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor elected to congress, was the founding Co-Chairman of the House Human Rights Caucus and the key driver behind many critical pieces of human rights legislation.
"Congressman Lantos was a dear ally with, advocate for, and friend of the human rights community," stated Frank Donaghue, Chief Executive Officer of PHR. "He was a champion of the dispossessed and disenfranchised for over half a century, a living embodiment of the power and promise of the ideas enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
The week before Congressman Lantos passed he was working to secure increased funding for PEPFAR, legislation that fights AIDS and other infectious diseases in Africa. Congressman Lantos was one of the earliest voices in Congress calling for a comprehensive approach to preventing and treating AIDS on a global level.
"Though Congressman Lantos is gone, he will live on through the legacy of legislation and institutions that would have otherwise not existed without him," stated Donaghue. "Congressman Lantos knew that the human rights movement is bigger than anyone person, but it is stronger and more successful because he was a part of it."
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.