Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Monday, October 25th, House Resolution 744 (H.Res.744), condemning the state-sponsored persecution of the Baha’i community of Iran, was introduced in the United States House of Representatives.
The resolution condemns the longstanding state-sponsored persecution of the Iranian Baha’i religious minority, and calls on the Iranian government to immediately release the imprisoned or detained Baha’is and all other prisoners held solely on account of their religion; to end its campaign of hate propaganda against the Baha’is; and to reverse state-imposed policies denying Baha’is and members of other religious minorities equal opportunities to higher education, earning a livelihood, 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 Government of Iran’s continued violation of human rights and demand the immediate release of prisoners held solely on account of their religion. It also calls for sanctions on officials of the Government of Iran for human rights abuses against the Baha’i community of Iran.
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), was supported by the bi-partisan co-sponsorship of Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-1), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), 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).
The resolution met with strong support from the American Baha’i community.
“In Iran, Baha’is are denied basic opportunities such as education and economic advancement on the grounds of their belief,” said Mr. Anthony Vance, Director of the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs.
“We support the resolution and thank Congress for their efforts in defending the rights of our co-religionists abroad.”
The resolution comes in a year during which the Iranian government’s persecution of the Baha’is, spanning decades, has accelerated markedly. The Baha’i International Community has drawn attention to recent arrests, seizures of private property, exclusions from university enrollment, and state-sanctioned campaigns of hate propaganda.
“The persecution of the Baha’is of Iran is an affront to the morality of any conscientious person. Religious freedom should be a given for every human being,” said Mr. Vance.