Bahai News - CONCURRENT RESOLUTION Concerning the emancipation of the Iranian Baha'i community

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
Emancipation of the Iranian Baha'i Community

106th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. CON. RES. 257
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
Concerning the emancipation of the Iranian Baha'i community.
HCON 257 EH
106th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. CON. RES. 257
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Whereas in 1982, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996, Congress, by concurrent resolution, declared that it holds the Government of Iran responsible for upholding the rights of all its nationals, including members of the Baha'i Faith, Iran's largest religious minority;
Whereas Congress has deplored the Government of Iran's religious persecution of the Baha'i community in such resolutions and in numerous other appeals, and has condemned Iran's execution of more than 200 Baha'is and the imprisonment of thousands of others solely on account of their religious beliefs;
Whereas in July 1998 a Baha'i , Mr. Ruhollah Rowhani, was executed by hanging in Mashhad after being held in solitary confinement for 9 months on the charge of converting a Muslim woman to the Baha'i Faith, a charge the woman herself refuted;
Whereas 2 Baha'is remain on death row in Iran, 2 on charges on apostasy, and 10 others are serving prison terms on charges arising solely from their religious beliefs or activities;
Whereas the Government of Iran continues to deny individual Baha'is access to higher education and government employment and denies recognition and religious rights to the Baha'i community, according to the forth in a confidential Iranian Government document which was revealed by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1993;
Whereas Baha'is have been banned from teaching and studying at Iranian universities since the Islamic Revolution and therefore created the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education, or Baha'i Open University, to provide educational opportunities to Baha'i youth using volunteer faculty and a network of classrooms, libraries, and laboratories in private homes and buildings throughout Iran;
Whereas in September and October 1998, Iranian authorities arrested 36 faculty members of the Open University, 4 of whom have been given prison sentences ranging between 3 to 10 years, even though the law makes no mention of religious instruction within one's own religious community as being an illegal activity;
Whereas Iranian intelligence officers looted classroom equipment, textbooks, computers, and other personal property from 532 Baha'i homes in an attempt to close down the Open University;
Whereas all Baha'i community properties in Iran have been confiscated by the government, and Iranian Baha'is are not permitted to elect their leaders, organize as a community, operate religious schools, or conduct other religious community activities guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
Whereas on February 22, 1993, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights published a formerly confidential Iranian government document that constitutes a blueprint for the destruction of the Baha'i community and reveals that these repressive actions are the result of a deliberate policy designed and approved by the highest officials of the Government of Iran; and
Whereas in 1998 the United Nations Special Representative for Human Rights, Maurice Copithorne, was denied entry into Iran: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

Passed the House of Representatives September 19, 2000.


©Copyright 2000, US House of Representatives

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