On October 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 407-2, a resolution condemning the government of Iran for “state-sponsored persecution of its Bahá’í minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.” H.Res.175 is the eleventh congressional resolution since 1982 to address the religious oppression of the Bahá’ís in Iran.
“Given current human rights violations against the Iranian citizens, we welcome Congress speaking out again against the persecution of Iran’s largest religious minority,” said Ms. Kit Bigelow, director of external affairs for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the U.S.
The resolution also called on President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to condemn the ongoing persecution of Bahá’ís in Iran, and to demand the release of religious prisoners, including seven Bahá’í leaders who have been detained for more than a year without a trial—Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm.
“Today, the House of Representatives sends a signal to the Iranian regime, and it contains an important message,” Rep. Mark Kirk said on October 21, in a statement on the House floor. “The U.S. Congress will expose this regime that murders innocent women and children in the streets and denies citizens’ basic human rights. To the dictators in Iran we say, release your political prisoners, especially release your Baha’i prisoners, and end your ignorant and uncultured persecution of the peaceful Baha’is.”
A concurrent Senate resolution, S.Res.71, is still pending.