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AHI Mourns Passing of Renowned Author Christopher Hitchens

The American Hellenic Institute mourns the passing of Author/Essayist, Journalist Christopher Hitchens, who died Thurs., Dec. 15, 2011. He was 62.

“Christopher Hitchens was a wonderful human being and philhellene who advocated for the rule of law and justice for Cyprus as well as the return of the Parthenon Marbles,” said AHI Founder Gene Rossides. “Christopher’s books, Hostage to History: Cyprus from the Ottomans to Kissinger and The Trial of Henry Kissinger, are must-reads. His voice will be truly missed.”

In 2007, Hitchens received the AHI Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award for his pursuit of the rule of law and justice for Cyprus and Hellenism through his writings and speeches.

In his acceptance remarks, Hitchens said, “Those of us who are governed by the rule of law don’t demand very much. We are very modest and understated in what we ask. All we want is for the removal of every single Turkish soldier from Cyprus, as international law demands, the restoration of the sculpture of Phidias [the Parthenon Marbles] as a unity, the same way it was carved, as a tribute to the glories of 5th century Athens and the human culture that it has inspired…. Take heart. You have friends who will never desert you. Mr. Erdogan, tear down that wall. Zito I Ellas (Long live Greece). Eleftheri I Kypros (Free Cyprus).”

In addition, Hitchens is interviewed in the AHI Foundation-supported documentary “Cyprus Still Divided: A U.S. Foreign Policy Failure” that has aired on PBS. His interview leveled criticism at then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “It’s difficult to encapsulate the wickedness of Kissinger’s role in a sentence but if you wanted to try for a epigram it would be: ‘To support the Greeks as long as they were fascists and to turn against them only when they were democrats, to support the Turks only when they were aggressors and to end up with a country ruined and partitioned’ which, I have to believe, was, in fact, the objective of the policy in the first place.”

“Christopher Hitchens never ceased his advocacy to end Turkey’s military occupation of Cyprus and for the country to be reunited,” said AHI President Nick Larigakis. “We were fortunate to collaborate with him on this issue. We must work to ensure his passion for justice for Cyprus lives on.”

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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