Resolution Condemning Iranian Persecution Against Baha’is Introduced in Senate

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Washington, D.C., Feb. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Senate Resolution 74 (S.Res.74), condemning the recent surge in state-sponsored persecution of the Baha’i community of Iran, was introduced on February 16th in the United States Senate.  It reflects a serious rise in a range of human rights abuses against the Baha’is over the last half of 2022, much of which occurred within the broader context of the government’s massive crackdown on protesters and the wider society.

The resolution condemns the Government of Iran’s sharply increased state-sponsored persecution of the Baha’i minority in Iran and the continued violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 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 state-sponsored 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, S. Res 74 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 and other individuals directly responsible for serious human rights abuses, including abuses against the Baha’i community of Iran.

The resolution, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), was supported by the co-sponsorship of Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT), Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Shelley Capito (R-WV), and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

The American Baha’i community expressed its support for the resolution.

“We thank members of the Senate for their efforts to defend the rights of Baha’is in Iran at this especially critical time,” said Mr. Anthony Vance, Director of the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs.

“And, with the rest of the world, we are watching the current events in Iran with great distress in our hearts,” he added. “Against the backdrop of widespread oppression, resolutions like these become essential to assure that maximum focus is drawn to such an appalling situation.”

“The human rights of vulnerable minorities, such as the Baha’is, are often the first to be discarded under such circumstances.  Members of the Senate are taking a stand and we hope that the rest of the Senate and the current Administration will shortly follow their lead,” said Mr. Vance.

CONTACT: James Samimi Farr U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs 202.833.8990 [email protected]


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