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RFE/RL Pays Tribute to Rep. Tom Lantos

(Washington, DC/Prague, Czech Republic--February 12, 2008) Broadcasters at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty mourn the death of U.S. Representative Tom Lantos, a steadfast supporter and passionate advocate of every individual's right to freedom.

RFE/RL President Jeff Gedmin said today that: "for decades, RFE/RL and Representative Lantos shared common cause in fighting dictators and giving voice to the voiceless. On behalf of this organization, I and my colleagues honor the memory of a special friend and extend condolences to his wife Annette, a full partner in all his campaigns for human rights."

With typical eloquence and directness, Representative Lantos spoke often on RFE/RL airwaves, addressing human rights violations in Russia, the plight of the Hungarian minority in Romania, the persecution of Turks in Bulgaria or of Albanians in Serbia. As a longstanding member and later Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Lantos conducted many hearings on these and other issues and RFE/RL broadcasts spread his stirring words to the peoples whose freedom and rights he championed.

"With his passing," Gedmin said "the world has lost a great humanitarian and RFE/RL has lost a friend whose entire life embodied our mission."