Press Releases

Congressman Beyer’s Remarks on Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s Release from Prison

f t # e
Washington, February 11, 2015 | Tia Shuyler (202-225-4376) | comments
U.S. Representative Don Beyer commemorated the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison with the following statement:

“In 1962 a young lawyer named Nelson Mandela was thrown into prison simply because he worked to create a free, democratic South Africa where everyone, regardless of race, had equal access to the ballot box.” said Rep. Beyer. “25 years ago today, that young man was freed and in four short years he was South Africa’s first democratically elected President. It was the first time he, and those he fought for, had ever voted.”

The apartheid regime in South Africa released Nelson Mandela from prison on February 11, 1990 after serving 27 years. In 1997, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the former State President of South Africa, F. W. de Klerk. Mandela died shortly after turning 95 in 2013.

Beyer continued, “We must never forget the sacrifices made by those who fight for peace, freedom, and democracy, nor give up that fight in our own nation, commonwealth, and community. The efforts we have seen in recent years, even in Virginia, to roll back provisions of the Voting Rights Act would make the democracy that Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others fought for all the more difficult to attain. Let us commit ourselves to ensuring true equal voting rights for all.”
f t # e