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Lankford, Coons Lead Senate to Condemn Iran for Systemic Persecution of Women and Peaceful Protestors

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced a resolution condemning the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman whose killing last week by Iran’s “morality police” sparked nationwide protests, and calling on the government of Iran to end its systemic persecution of women. The resolution also celebrates the bravery of the Iranian people protesting Amini’s death despite a violent crackdown by the Iranian government. Senator Coons is co-chair of the Senate Human Rights Caucus.

“We stand with the courageous Iranian people who are, at this moment, risking their lives to stand up for their freedom and the right to live their faith,” said Lankford. “The Senate should send a loud and clear message that we support the basic human rights of all people around the world, including the oppressed people of Iran living under a repressive regime.”

Lankford spoke on the Senate floor last week in support of the Iranian people while condemning the Iranian regime. He called on the Senate to take a strong stance. 

“As co-chair of the Human Rights Caucus, I commend the thousands of brave protesters who are risking their lives to advocate for human rights in Iran, including the human rights of Iranian women. The public response to Mahsa Amini’s death at the hands Iran’s morality police makes clear that the Iranian government’s oppression is no match for the demands for dignity and respect by the Iranian people,” said Coons. “This resolution sends a clear message that the United States stands behind the rights of women and peaceful protesters in Iran and reaffirms that our commitment to human rights, women’s rights, and democratic freedoms is core to our values and foreign policy.”

In addition to Lankford and Coons, the resolution is also cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Braun (R-IN), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Gary Peters (D-MI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Boozman (R-AR), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Tom Cotton (R-AR).

For the full text of the Senate Resolution, click HERE.

“Mahsa Amini should be alive today. Her horrific death is a painful reminder that the Iranian government’s systemic persecution of women continues. The Iranian people — many of whom are bravely and peacefully calling for greater freedoms—deserve to have their voices heard and their human rights respected,” said  Kaine.

“Mahsa Amini is the face of too many Iranian women who have spent decades fighting for equality and resisting the alarming violence of the so-called ‘morality police.’ The brave women of Iran are standing against a regime determined to sideline them from society,” said  Shaheen. “The U.S. must remain firm in our support for these incredible women and for freedom of expression in Iran and around the world.”

“I stand with the Iranian people, led by brave women, protesting to end discrimination and violence against women—such as the recent brutal beating and subsequent death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of Iran’s so-called morality police,” said Booker. “I strongly condemn the violent response to suppress peaceful demonstrations and call upon the Iranian government to listen to its citizens and respect their freedoms.”

“Mahsa Amini was a victim of the oppressive Iranian regime, and her death has fueled an uprising of thousands of courageous Iranians seeking justice,” said  Moran. “The Iranian regime may shut down social media, arrest journalists and fire on its own people to silence protests, but Iranians marching against Mahsa Amini’s death make clear basic rights cannot be indefinitely denied.”

“The death of Mahsa Amini while in custody in Tehran has once again lifted the curtain on Iran’s abhorrent record of egregious human rights violations,” said Collins. “The outpouring of anger and grief over her tragic death has ignited a firestorm of protests against the Iranian regime in cities and towns across the country as well as internationally.  Our resolution condemns Iran’s human rights abuses and expresses support for the brave demonstrators who are keeping Mahsa’s memory alive by pushing for greater freedoms despite the violent crackdowns by Iran.”

“Iranian women are fighting for their freedom,” said Dr. Cassidy. “A 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed by the Iranian regime’s morality police for refusing to wear a head covering. We must stand with the women of Iran as they fight for their rights.”

“The death of Mahsa Amini was senseless and the Iranian regime owes their people answers on what happened,” said Tillis. “I am proud to introduce this resolution with my colleagues to condemn Mahsa’s death and stand with the Iranian people who are courageously speaking out against this regime’s continued oppression.”

“It is critical Iran is held accountable for its egregious human rights abuses and for being the world’s leading sponsor of terror,” Daines said. “The U.S. supports the Iranian people in their fight for freedom and human rights against the Iranian regime.”

“The Iranian regime’s history of oppression and violence against its own citizens is well documented. In the wake of Mahsa Amini’s death, Iranians are once again rising up to demand justice, protest brutality and appeal for basic human rights. The United States stands in solidarity with the Iranian people and echoes their calls for accountability,” said Boozman.