Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Chair of the Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism in the 117th Congress, today urged his colleagues to join him in supporting the Iranian people by denouncing the Iranian regime’s brutality. Speaking before the vote on H. Con. Res. 7, Resolution Commending the Iranian Demonstrators, the Congressman called for the regime to end its acts of violent suppression, its support of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, and its spread of terror across the region.
A transcript of the Congressman’s remarks, as delivered, is below.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the brave women and men in Iran who are risking their lives to speak out against the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses.
Today marks 131 days of ongoing protests in Iran. 131 days since Mahsa Amini was laid to rest after being harassed, arrested, and ultimately killed by Iran’s so called morality police for simply wearing her hijab incorrectly.
Since her murder, the people of Iran, women and men alike, have taken to the streets in more than 133 cities across the country to demand their basic rights and freedoms be respected. For nearly 19 weeks, protesters have gone out into the streets, making their voices heard and demanding to be treated with dignity.
But instead of listening, the Iranian regime is brutally cracking down on its own citizens – gunning down protesters, arresting people en masse, and resorting to torture and sexual violence. Since the protests began, human rights activists in Iran have reported that nearly 20,000 people have been detained and more than 500 people have been killed, including children.
What’s more, the Iranian regime has already executed four protesters, with many more being sentenced for crimes that carry the death penalty. These brutal human rights abuses must stop immediately.
The international community must stand with the Iranian people and against this violent suppression.
The Iranian regime must stop supporting Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, stop spreading terror across the region, and start listening to its own people.
Today, the House is coming together to condemn unequivocally the Iranian regime’s brutality and to express support for the Iranian people.
Their bravery in the face of suffocating repression and increased impunity is inspiring the world and deserves our respect and strong support.
They must know America stands with them.
I want to end by applauding the Biden Administration for working with our allies and our partners to hold the regime accountable for the human rights abuses by imposing sanctions on Iranian officials deemed responsible for the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters.
I look forward to continuing our bipartisan work to advance the cause of human rights in Iran.
I thank the gentleman again for yielding, and I yield back the balance of my time.
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