Washington (December 11, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee, secured passage of several provisions today out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“I am pleased that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously advanced several of my legislative priorities which collectively call for U.S. leadership in advancing human rights and in reducing the threat of nuclear war,” said Senator Markey. “My bipartisan resolution calls for the release – without delay – of Senator Leila De Lima from over 1,000 days in captivity in the Philippines and demands that the country’s security forces are held to account.
“Today, we also stood up for freedom of the press and the right of due process in Turkey and called upon the United States to cease U.S. nuclear cooperation with Turkey if President Erdogan matches his rhetorical quest for a nuclear bomb with actions.”
Specifically, today’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
- Adopted Senator Markey’s bipartisan Senate Resolution 142, which condemns the Government of the Philippines for its continued detention of Senator Leila De Lima and calls on the U.S. Government to back human rights defenders and investigative journalists like Maria Ressa, who the Duterte Government wrongfully detained after she exposed human rights violations in President Dueterte’s “drug war.”
- Adopted key provisions from the Markey-Wyden Turkey Human Rights Promotion Act, which condemns Turkey for its unacceptable treatment journalists and calls on the government to reverse attacks on fair trials. Senator Markey’s measure also sends the message that while the eyes of the world are rightly focused on Turkey’s incursion into Northern Syria and targeting of U.S. allies, we must not overlook President Erdogan’s human rights violations at home.
- Adopted an amendment that expresses the Sense of Congress that the United States must reject President Erdogan’s stated quest for nuclear weapons, and should condition a renewed civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with Turkey on proof that Turkey is not moving towards a nuclear-weapons capability. Senator Markey and Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-24) also today introduced the Preventing the Spread of Nuclear Weapons Act, to condition continued U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation with Turkey and all other foreign countries.
- Adopted a provision that says that any potential designation of the Russian Federation as a state-sponsor of terrorism will not restrict the military-to-military channel with Russia to avoid inadvertent war in Syria and to protect and grow our bilateral arms control dialogue.
- Adopted an amendment to a Senate Resolution, which credits Germany and NATO for coming to America’s defense after the September 11, 2001 attacks by invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty – the first and only time that has occurred in the Alliance’s history.