November 20, 2014
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning the government of Iran for its gross human rights violations and its continued violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights.
House Resolution 754 details wide-ranging human rights abuses in Iran, including restrictions on freedom of expression and association, discrimination and violence against women, executions of political prisoners and juveniles, targeting of journalists and activists, and harassment and persecution of religious minorities. The resolution calls on the Government of Iran to respect human rights and release all prisoners of conscience.
The resolution makes particular note of the persecution of Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority, the beleaguered Baha’i community. It notes that over 200 Baha’is have been killed since 1979 and that Baha’is are “disproportionately targeted, interrogated, and detained under the pretext of national security.” It “condemns” the Iranian Government’s “relentless persecution of its Baha’i minority.”
“This is an important statement from the U.S. Congress on the abysmal human rights situation in Iran,” stated Mr. Kenneth E. Bowers, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States. “Continued attention to the violations of human rights and religious freedom in Iran is critical to improving the lives of Iranian citizens.”
This resolution follows on the heels of a UN resolution which expresses a “deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations” in Iran, including against the Baha’i community.
“The situation of the Baha’is in Iran has shown no improvement in recent years,” stated Mr. Anthony Vance, Director of Public Affairs for the Baha’is of the United States. “Given the importance of congressional resolutions in deterring the Iranian government from abusing its citizens with impunity, we welcome the passage of Resolution 754 and its specific references to Iran’s Baha’is. We hope that the House of Representatives will also pass House Resolution 109, which both condemns and details the Iranian government’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority, and is now pending with 165 bipartisan cosponsors.”
For additional information, please contact the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs at (202) 833-8990, or visit: http://publicaffairs.bahai.us/what-we-do/human-rights/persecution-of-the-bahais-in-iran.
Contact Rachel Wolfe, Media Relations Officer, at USBahaiMedia@usbnc.org to arrange for interviews.