CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT, ALLISON BROPHY CHAMPION
U.S. House members have introduced a resolution to support human-rights protests in Iran after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Co-sponsored by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, the measure condemns the Ayatollah regime’s oppression of the Iranian people, the congresswoman’s office said in a statement Tuesday.
On Sept. 14, Iran’s morality police arrested Amini, alleging she wore a hijab incorrectly. The young woman died shortly after being detained.
In response, Spanberger joined the resolution to denounce the Iranian regime’s violence and oppression. U.S. Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., led the measure, which was also joined by Reps. Maria Salazar, R-Florida, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.
Devastating images of government thugs oppressing women and violently attempting to stifle peaceful protests have been published in the weeks since Amini’s murder, Spanberger said in a statement.
“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to make clear that the American people stand with the thousands of Iranians who are marching for their basic freedoms and fundamental human rights,” she said.
Kim added that there is nothing moral about brutally beating and killing a young woman.
“I stand with the thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets of Iran … to protest the Ayatollah regime by cutting their hair, burning their hijabs and demanding accountability and freedom,” Kim said. “This resolution will demonstrate to the Iranian people that the United States stands with them.”
Salazar said the United States has always stood firmly for freedom.
“As the daughter of Cuban exiles, I am proud to join my colleagues and stand with pro-democracy activists in Iran rallying against tyranny,” he said. “We denounce, in the strongest terms, the violent and barbaric tactics of the Iranian regime against so many courageous Iranians, especially women like Mahsa Amini, who are rejecting religious extremism and demanding the right to representative government.”
According to the House resolution, presented on Sept. 27, Amini died three days after being arrested and taken to police headquarters. She was transferred to a hospital in a coma and died from internal injuries. Her family has said she did not have any preexisting health conditions.
Since protests broke out in Iran, security forces have fired on crowds, killing men, women and teenagers, the resolution states. Iranian state media report that 41 have died in the protests, while other reports suggest the number is higher.
The resolution calls on the Treasury secretary to continue sanctions against Iran.
It also calls on the U.S. secretary of state to use America’s voice and vote in international organizations to urge adoption of more resolutions condemning Amini’s death and to unequivocally express support for the Iranian people and their desire for a free, fair and democratic Iran.