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Senator Ted Kaufman


Mr. KAUFMAN (for himself, Mr. CASEY, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. MCCAIN, Mrs. SHAHEEN, Mr. KYL, Mr. FEINGOLD, Mr. BROWNBACK, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mr. GRAHAM, and Mr. LEVIN) submitted the following resolution;

RESOLUTION Marking the one year anniversary of the June 12, 2009, presidential election in Iran, and condemning ongoing human rights abuses in Iran.

Whereas the Government of Iran has systematically undertaken a campaign of violence, persecution, and intimidation against Iranian citizens who have peacefully protested the results of the deeply flawed Iran presidential elections of June 12, 2009;

Whereas the 2009 Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Iran found that ‘‘[t]he government [of Iran] severely limited citizens’ right to peacefully change their government through free and fair elections’’ and ‘‘. . . severely restricted the right to privacy and civil liberties, including freedoms of speech and the press, assembly, association, and movement’’;

Whereas hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators gathered in the streets of Iran in the aftermath of the June 12, 2009, elections, and dozens of innocent Iranians were killed and more than 4,000 were arbitrarily arrested by police and security forces and the Basij militia;

Whereas hundreds of Iranian citizens remain in detention and more than 250 prominent activists and demonstrators were tried in mass ‘‘show trials’’ that began in August 2009, and at least 50 of these defendants have received sentences ranging from six months imprisonment to death;

Whereas, on June 20, 2009, a member of the Basij militia reportedly shot and killed 27 year-old student Neda Agha-Soltan, whose murder was recorded on a mobile phone camera, disseminated via the Internet, and became a rallying cry for the political opposition and Green Movement;

Whereas, since the election, the Government of Iran has systemically restricted and suppressed free press, free expression, free assembly, and free access to the Internet and other forms of connective technology in order to limit the flow of information and silence political opposition and other forms of popular dissent;

Whereas the Government of Iran has a deplorable human rights record that includes severe restrictions on the freedom of religion or belief, denial of the freedom of assembly and the rights of civil society, systematic torture and ill-treatment, and judicial proceedings that lack due process;

Whereas the Government of Iran continues to operate with hostility and impunity toward journalists, reformers, ethnic and religious minorities, political opponents, human rights defenders, women’s rights groups, student activists, and others, including through unlawful and arbitrary detentions, arrests, politically motivated sentencing, physical assaults, and killings;

Whereas human rights activists, journalists, and ethnic and religious minorities have fled Iran for fear of persecution and are residing, some in dangerous circumstances, in neighboring countries seeking refugee status and asylum in the United States and other countries;

Whereas the Government of Iran has violated its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

Whereas the 2010 Freedom House Freedom in the World Report finds that Iran leads the world in the number of jailed journalists;

Whereas, since the June 2009 election, the Government of Iran has restricted foreign press access, banned more than 60 international media outlets, and jammed international broadcasts, including those of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda, Voice of America’s Persian News Network, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and other non-Iranian news services;

Whereas, on December 18, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning ‘‘serious, ongoing and recurring human rights violations in Iran’’ and calling on the Government of Iran to respect its human rights obligations;

Whereas, on December 27, 2009, the Ashura holiday, at least eight civilians were killed in confrontations with authorities, and police reportedly arrested approximately 300 civilians in relation to popular demonstrations;

Whereas, on February 11, 2010, the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the Government of Iran beat and arrested numerous protestors, jammed text messaging technology, slowed and restricted access to the Internet, and blocked email and news websites, intentionally limiting the ability of Iranian citizens to communicate and freely access news and information;

Whereas, on April 19, 2010, the Government of Iran officially suspended prominent political parties, banned a reformist newspaper, and sentenced to prison leaders within the political opposition; and

Whereas activists connected to the 2009 election protests were recently re-arrested in an attempt to disrupt planned protests on the one-year anniversary of the election on June 12, 2010: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) solemnly marks one year since the flawed June 12, 2009, presidential election in Iran, and honors Iranian citizens who have lost their lives in peaceful protest since the election;

(2) supports the people of Iran as they seek peaceful and free expression, free speech, free press, free assembly, unfettered access to the Internet, and freedom of religion despite a campaign of intimidation, repressions, and violence perpetrated by the Government of Iran;

(3) commends the people of Iran who have braved the persistent and pervasive threat of censorship, arrest, physical harassment, and death to have their voices heard and peacefully exercise fundamental human rights, as enshrined in the constitution of Iran and international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, entered into force on March 23, 1976, and ratified by Iran;

(4) condemns the Government of Iran for perpetrating ongoing human rights abuses and for restricting, monitoring, and suppressing freedom of the press, expression, assembly, speech, and religion, as well as free access to the Internet and other forms of connective technology in order to limit the flow of information and silence political opposition and other forms of popular dissent;

(5) denounces the atmosphere of impunity for those who intimidate, harass, and commit violence against Iranian citizens, and calls for the unconditional release of all political and religious prisoners in Iran;

(6) urges the President and Secretary of State to mobilize resources to support freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech in Iran, especially on the June 12 anniversary of the 2009 presidential election;

(7) encourages the President and Secretary of State to work with the United Nations Human Rights Council to condemn the ongoing human rights violations perpetrated by the Government of Iran and establish a monitoring mechanism by which the Council can monitor such violations;

(8) urges the Government of Iran to cooperate with and allow visits of the United Nations Special Rapporteurs for Human Rights and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

(9) urges the President and Secretary of State to work with the international community to ensure that violations of human rights are part of all formal and informal multilateral or bilateral discussions with and regarding Iran; and

(10) calls for the immediate return of all missing and detained United States citizens in Iran.