WASHINGTON, August 1 2008 – The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution condemning the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran.H. RES. 1008 is the tenth congressional resolution since 1982 on the Baha’is in Iran.
“The passing of this resolution is particularly timely given the escalation of attacks against the Baha’is in Iran in recent months,” said Ms. Kit Bigelow, Director of External Affairs for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the U.S. “This includes a series of arson attacks on the homes and vehicles of Baha’is, and the arrests in March and May of the seven members of Iran’s national Baha’i coordinating group. They are being held in Evin Prison in Tehran without any charges and without access to an attorney or to their families.”
The congressional resolution condemns the government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of Baha’is; calls on Iran’s Parliament to reject a proposed Islamic penal code, and calls on the Iranian regime to immediately release ten imprisoned Baha’is.
“This is government-sponsored persecution,” said Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-10), who introduced the resolution.“And we in the Congress should not be silent as Iran sets up the mechanism to ethnically cleanse its Baha’i minority, totaling over 250,000 human beings.”
“It sends a strong signal that Congress will continue to watch closely the treatment of the Baha’i people in Iran,” said Rep Howard L. Berman (CA-28), who is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and co-sponsored the resolution.
“We are deeply grateful that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed this resolution, which speaks up for those who are unable to have their voices heard in their homeland. We look forward to the day when the Iranian Baha’is will have their human rights restored and be able to contribute as equal citizens to the advancement of the country and the global community which they love,” said Ms. Kit Bigelow.