Statement of Rep. Jamie Raskin, US Congress
provided for “Autocrat Fair,” event of the Stand with Human Rights and Democracy campaign
October 27, 2020

I’m proud to co-sponsor H.R. 8313, the Philippines Human Rights Act of 2020. This bill imposes limitations on providing assistance to the police or military of the Philippines until the government investigates and holds accountable individuals responsible for the systematic human rights violations occurring under the false pretenses of a “drug war.” Until President Duterte stops sending his forces to commit extrajudicial killings, the U.S. should stop sending military or police assistance.

President Duterte is one of many authoritarians—from Bolsonaro in Brazil, Erdogan in Turkey, Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and Putin in Russia—who are exploiting the global pandemic crisis to violate human rights, attack democracy, consolidate executive power, and criminalize basic freedoms of speech and assembly. President Trump and his Administration have cozied up to all these bullies and enemies of freedom and democracy while turning a blind eye to victims of their violence and tyranny.

It is incumbent that we in Congress stand strong against authoritarians and autocrats the world over. While I cannot be physically with you today, I commend your campaign to “stand with human rights and democracy,” and thank you for peacefully exercising your rights to make your voices heard. Together, we can successfully defend human rights and democracy around the world.