Freedom House Mourns the Loss of Congressman Payne
Freedom House mourns the loss of U.S. Representative Donald Payne, who died today at the age of 77. He was the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights and previously served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Congressman Payne was a long-standing champion of fundamental rights and democracy in Africa and around the world,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “He gave voice to the oppressed and challenged the abuses of dictators. His leadership on human rights in the U.S. Congress will be sorely missed.”
Donald Payne represented New Jersey's 10th congressional district for 23 years. In 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Mr. Payne to serve as a congressional delegate to the United Nations and in 2005 reappointed him to an unprecedented second term. As a testament to Mr. Payne’s steadfast commitment to human rights and democracy, he received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Visionaries Award from the Africa Society and the prestigious Democracy Service Medal from the National Endowment for Democracy.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
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