President Biden Should Provide Special Visa to Human Rights Defenders
The second Summit for Democracy is an opportunity to demonstrate through tangible action the United States’ commitment to democracy and human rights globally.
The U.S. President Joe Biden should create a new visa category to allow entry to persecuted human rights defenders into the United States. In his letter of February 14, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has urged President Biden to protect human rights activists who face threats in their countries.
Senator Menendez said in the letter that the Biden administration should demonstrate the United States’ commitment to democracy and human rights worldwide by creating a new limited visa category for human rights defenders facing imminent grave danger and persecution.
“Since the human rights defenders in authoritarian countries are facing grave threats and local courts are complicit in state crimes, the rights defenders are extremely vulnerable in despotic regimes,” said Rakesh Raman, founder of RMN Foundation.
He added that there should be an international mechanism to help the persecuted activists in dire situations while the UN human rights agencies have failed to protect them.
In his letter, Senator Menendez highlighted the importance of providing enhanced protections to human rights defenders when they are under increasing attacks by the governments in different parts of the world.
“Around the world, human rights defenders are our first line of defense against the rising tide of authoritarianism and democratic backsliding. Yet year after year, they are increasingly threatened or attacked for peacefully seeking to advance democratic principles and human rights,” Chairman Menendez wrote in his letter to President Biden.
“By providing those most at risk with a modest safety net, the United States can bolster the ability of human rights defenders to carry out their critical work,” he added.
Menendez asserted that by creating a multiple-entry, multi-year visa for human rights defenders who need to flee their country of origin, the Biden administration would not only send a powerful message to human rights defenders everywhere that the we support their efforts, but also a warning to autocrats and would-be autocrats that the U.S. is watching and willing to take action.
“The second Summit for Democracy is an opportunity to demonstrate through tangible action the United States’ commitment to democracy and human rights globally,” Menendez said. “I stand ready to work with your (Biden) administration to advance protections for human rights defenders through a new limited visa category.”
RMN Foundation – which works to protect human rights everywhere – fully supports the appeal of Senator Menendez to the Biden administration so that human rights defenders could work freely with a sense of security around them.
About RMN Foundation
RMN Foundation is the humanitarian initiative of Raman Media Network (RMN) News Service. It runs various projects and campaigns in the areas of human rights, environment protection, school education, and corruption prevention.
Currently, all the activities of RMN Foundation are being managed single-handedly (without any support) by its founder Rakesh Raman who is a national award-winning journalist.
Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development.
People and organizations from all over the world are invited to join hands with RMN Foundation as donors, volunteers, and partners to carry out humanitarian activities for diverse communities.
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