Get Involved in Passing Resolutions That Call for the Release of All Baha’i Prisoners – Including the Baha’i Leaders – and Other Religious Prisoners in Iran

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Source: U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs

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Get Involved


Persecution of the Baha’is in Iran

The Baha’is of the United States have worked with members of Congress for more than 30 years to pass resolutions that condemn the state-sponsored persecution of Iran’s 300,000-member Baha’i minority, which has been marked by the execution of hundreds of Baha’is, the imprisonment of thousands more, and systematic and severe economic and social pressure on the Baha’i community. These resolutions shine a light on the actions of the Iranian authorities, and they contribute to an international outcry that has helped to mitigate the severity of the persecution.

Two such resolutions have been introduced in this Congress, the 115th Congress, one in each house of Congress:

May 12, 2017 Congressional Call-in Day

May 14 will mark the ninth anniversary of the imprisonment of the seven members of the former ad hoc leadership group of the Baha’i community of Iran, known as the Yaran-i-Iran, or the “Friends of Iran.”

In honor of this anniversary, people around the country will be calling the Washington D.C. offices of their representatives on Friday, May 12 to ask them to cosponsor resolutions now pending in the House of Representatives and the Senate that condemn the state-sponsored persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran:

(Please do not refer to these resolutions as H.R.274 or S.139, as these designations refer to other legislation.)

These resolutions detail the systematic and brutal persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran, and condemn the actions of the Iranian government toward its Baha’i citizens. They call for the release of all Baha’i prisoners – including the Baha’i leaders – and all other religious prisoners in Iran. They also express the desire of the Congress that the President and Secretary of State demand the release of these individuals. Finally, they call on the President and Secretary of State to impose sanctions on individual officials within the Iranian government who are responsible for serious human rights abuses.

Please take action on behalf of the Baha’is of Iran:

  1. Determine who your representative is and obtain contact information for his or her office by visiting the U.S. House of Representative’s Find Your Representative page and entering your zip code.
  2. Check the list of cosponsors of House Resolution 274 here to see if your Representative has cosponsored it.
  3. Determine who your two senators are and obtain contact information for their offices by visiting the U.S. Senate’s Senators of the 115th Congress page and selecting your state.
  4. Check the list of cosponsors of Senate Resolution 139 here to see if your Senators have cosponsored it.
  5. If your Representative or Senators have not yet signed on as a cosponsor of the new resolutions, call their Washington, D.C. offices and express your hope that they will cosponsor it. If they are cosponsors already, call their Washington, D.C. offices and thank them for their support as a cosponsor.
  6. Ask sympathetic neighbors, family members, and friends to join this effort and call their legislators.

These are the points you should make when speaking with staff members in your senators’ and representative’s offices:

  • Explain that May 14 is the ninth anniversary of the incarceration of seven Baha’i leaders in Iran, the so-called “Baha’i Seven,” who have been jailed for no reason other than their membership in the Baha’i Faith and their service to the Baha’i community.
  • If your representative or senator is not yet a cosponsor, express your hope that he or she will cosponsor the pending resolution, S.Res.139 in the Senate or H.Res.274 in the House of Representatives, in defense of Baha’is – including the Baha’i Seven – and other prisoners of conscience in Iran, as soon as possible.
  • If your representative or senator is not a cosponsor, emphasize that it is important for him or her to cosponsor the resolution – not simply to commit to voting for its passage – as the number of cosponsors will be viewed by many, including officials in the Iranian government, as a demonstration of strong support for the resolution.
  • If your representative or senator is already a cosponsor, thank him or her for his or her support.

Please do not make additional requests or offer to provide additional information. Simply express your desire, as a constituent, that the representative or senator become a cosponsor of the pending resolution.

Please make telephone calls only; as this is a phone campaign, do not send requests in writing, via email or otherwise.

Please make every effort to place your calls to your legislators’ Washington offices on May 12, as a large volume of calls received on a single day will increase their impact. If you missed making the calls on May 12, you may call on May 15 as well.

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