WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, was the lead sponsor of a resolution expressing support for Iranian citizens’ rights to freedom of assembly, speech and due process. The bipartisan resolution passed on Thursday night by unanimous consent after a day of peaceful street demonstrations in Iran were repressed by the government authorities and basiji militia.
“I hope that the Human Rights Council will take this opportunity to expose the violations of human rights that we have seen in Iran, especially over the past year,” said Senator Casey. “In addition to the brutal treatment of democracy activists, this regime has curbed public demonstrations, censored the internet, imprisoned more journalists than any other country and executed minors. This UN review could not come at a better time and I call upon the member states to take their responsibility seriously.”
The resolution called upon the UN Human Rights Council to provide a full and accurate accounting during a review of Iran’s human rights record in Geneva on Monday.
The text of the resolution is available HERE.
The resolution was cosponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Carl Levin (D-MI), John Kerry (D-MA) and Ted Kaufman (D-DE).
Senator Casey continued: “In addition to this resolution, I have co-sponsored a bill to sanction those Iranian authorities specifically responsible for human rights violations. This bill will send a strong message that our dispute is not with the Iranian people but with those in power who seek to repress them.
“The Iranian regime continues to disregard its international obligations and disrespect the will of the Iranian people. I applaud yesterday’s announcement by the Administration to impose targeted sanctions on businesses associated with the regime and hope that we can move quickly down the pressure track if Iranian leaders continue to backtrack on their promises.
“Over the past few days, the Iranian regime has sent mixed messages with regard to its nuclear program, a stalling tactic we have seen played out repeatedly in the past. Iran's leaders can either resolve to fulfill their international obligations or they can shun them and face greater isolation and sanctions. The decision is theirs. Patience in Washington, as well as in the international community, is running out.”