American Hellenic Institute


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AHI Voices Concern Over Focus Of Helsinki Commission Hearing On Human Rights
June 18, 2002 No. 31/02 (202) 785-8430

AHI Voices Concern Over Focus Of Helsinki Commission Hearing On Human Rights

On June 18, 2002, American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Executive Director Nick Larigakis sent a letter of concern to Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Representative Christopher H. Smith, chairman and co-chairman of the United States Helsinki Commission, regarding an upcoming June 20 hearing on "Human Rights in Greece: A Snapshot of the Cradle of Democracy."

According to AHI's letter, "Although the Commission has scrutinized the conduct of other Helsinki Commission members in hearings, this is the first instance of a democratic country from Western Europe being the target of such a hearing." In light of pending reforms in Greece regarding human trafficking, Mr. Larigakis also points out that it is:

"troubling that U.S. Congress would choose to unduly criticize Greece rather than encouraging it. Greece is a pivotal nation for U.S. interests in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Indeed following the Kosovo War, Greece emerged as the key player in the Balkans and the most important US partner in the wider region. In light of these facts, we feel that this Commission¹s hearing unjustly reprimands an ally and a friend."

AHI's letter to the Helsinki Commission is attached (click here). For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or For general information on AHI, please view our website at