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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Mar 15, 2005, 9:00 am ET

    Press release

    Death of Human Rights Champion in Ukraine Draws Reaction from Helsinki Commission Leaders

    Washington, DC — United States Helsinki Commission leaders today issued the following statements regarding the death of Ambassador David R. Nicholas, OSCE Project Coordinator in Kiev, Ukraine on March 13, 2005.

    "Ambassador David Nicholas' death is a great loss and he will be missed," said Helsinki Commission Chairman Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). "His contributions to human rights during his long, distinguished and varied career will be his lasting legacy. In the last two years, as head of the OSCE office in Kiev, Ambassador Nicholas contributed greatly to the development of democracy in Ukraine, especially during the recent, historic Presidential elections."

    "Like so many others, I am saddened to hear of Ambassador Nicholas' death," said Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ). "Ambassador Nicholas was widely respected within the OSCE and beyond for his important and effective role whether in supporting projects in Ukraine such as anti-human trafficking hotlines, assistance to the Ukrainian judicial system and legislature, or helping the transition of former military personnel to civilian life."

    "Ambassador David Nicholas' death is sad," said Helsinki Commission Ranking Member Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD). "The OSCE Project Coordinator's Office, under Ambassador Nicholas' leadership, performed a vital task in the lead-up to and during last year's presidential elections in Ukraine through its support of a wide range of activities aimed at promoting transparent and fair electoral processes."

    The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.



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