he following article appeared in the November 13, 2006 issue of Sun Gazette
The Leadership Council for Human Rights, together with a dozen co-sponsoring human rights groups, recently held a reception to honor the work of U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th.
Wolf is co-chairman, with U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of more than 250 members of Congress.
The caucus identifies and works to alleviate human rights abuses worldwide.
The reception was co-hosted by Leadership Council President Kathryn Cameron Porter and Institute on Religion and Public Policy President Joseph Grieboski. Hundreds of human-rights advocates attended, many representing ethnic communities and wearing native dress.
Speakers included Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy; Lodi Gyari, special envoy to the Dalai Lama; and John Hanford, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Participants in the evening's festivities performed a traditional Uyghur dance and a Tibetan circle dance.
Porter, who had been approached by many in the human-rights community who expressed a desire to honor Rep. Wolf for his work on behalf of oppressed peoples around the world, praised the congressman for “his willingness to stand up against all odds, his tenaciousness.”
“He doesn't take no for an answer,” Porter said.
“Frank Wolf has made it his life's work to care for the downtrodden, the persecuted, and the voiceless around the world, while at the same time fully, dutifully and effectively representing his constituents in the United States Congress,” said Grieboski.
In reference to Wolf's remarks at the reception, Grieboski said, “Mr. Wolf gave us a charge that cannot and must not go unheeded: we must work in unison to carry on the struggle against injustice, indignity and maltreatment globally.”
“Congressman Frank Wolf is the heart and soul in the U.S. Congress of the effort to support people around the world who are struggling for freedom,” Gershman said. “He's never wavered, even during the period after the end of the Cold War when Americans felt that the world had become a more benign place and that it was time to turn inward. He knew better.”
“Americans now realize that we continue to live in a dangerous world, and this offers an opportunity to fulfill Congressman Wolf's vision of developing a new generation of congressional leaders engaged in the global struggle for human rights,” Gershman said.
Gyari said, “Rep. Frank Wolf is a precious public servant whose kind is becoming rarer and rarer in these times. I applaud Rep. Wolf's extraordinary leadership in helping Tibetans and other disenfranchised peoples.”
Wolf, in his 25 years in Congress, has assisted a great number of persecuted peoples worldwide, including Bosnians, Cubans, Darfurians, Kurds, Iraqis, North Koreans, Tibetans and Vietnamese.