Congress condemns Iranian persecution of the Baha’i minority

Washington, DC, Dec. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — House Resolution 744 (H.Res.744), condemning the state-sponsored persecution of Iran’s Baha’i community, passed Thursday, December 1, by the United States House of Representatives. The resolution comes at a time of heightened international outcry over the human rights situation in Iran, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the Iranian government’s morality police.

The resolution condemns the longstanding state-sponsored persecution of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority and calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release the Baha’is imprisoned or detained and all other prisoners detained solely because of their religion; end its hate propaganda campaign against Baha’is; and to reverse state-enforced policies that deny Baha’is and members of other religious minorities equal opportunities for higher education, earning a living, due process under the law, and the free exercise of religious practices.

Furthermore, H.Res.744 calls on the President and the Secretary of State to immediately condemn the Iranian government’s continued violation of human rights and to demand the immediate release of prisoners held solely because of their religion. It also calls for sanctions against Iranian government officials for human rights abuses against Iran’s Baha’i community.

“I am thrilled that H.Res. 744 condemning the Iranian state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority was approved today by the House of Representatives,” Congressman Schakowsky said. “My district, the Ninth in Illinois, is the proud home of the beautiful and majestic Baha’i House of Worship for North America. It is welcoming not only to our Baha’i community, but to all people… I am calling on the Senate to swiftly pass this bill and on the US government to use all available diplomatic tools to ensure that Iran places an end to its cruel and relentless campaign against Baha’i, women and girls.”

The resolution, introduced by former Congressman Ted Deutch before his retirement and led by Congressman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), was supported by the bipartisan co-sponsorship of Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH-1), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5), Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-2) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC-2).

“We are grateful that Congress has recognized the grave and continuing injustice the Iranian government perpetrates against its Baha’i minority,” said Anthony Vance, spokesman for the Baha’is of the United States. “Since Baha’is are by no means alone in facing persecution, we hope this resolution will go some way towards improving human rights for all Iranians.”

CONTACT: James Samimi Farr US Baha'i Office of Public Affairs 202.833.8990 usbahaimedia@usbnc.org

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