BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the occasion of International Human Rights Day:
“This year on Human Rights Day, we are reminded how blessed we are to live in the United States, where fundamental freedoms are protected and honored. Today is also a stark reminder that these internationally-recognized fundamental human rights are under attack around the world in places like Syria, Cameroon, Nicaragua, China, and Belarus.
“Across the world, there are malign actors who wish to silence critics and crush the freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, and press. President Biden said he would place human rights at the center of his foreign policy, yet, he and senior officials meet with some of the worst human rights abusers, including Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi, and fail to press them on their flagrant violations of human rights. It appears human rights and democracy have fallen further down the list of President Biden’s foreign policy priorities.
“Here in the Senate, we remain committed to defending human rights and pushing back on authoritarian regimes, and we wish to work with this administration to hold accountable those who undermine democracy and internationally recognized human rights. We must also protect and empower our partners in civil society, who are the linchpins between our actions here in Washington and the fight for freedoms on the front lines. Civil society actors are fighting against authoritarian overreach every minute of every day.”