January 28, 2020

U.S. House Passes Resolution Supporting Iranian People’s Right to Free Expression

The United States House of Representatives passed Resolution 752 today, showing support for Iranian demonstrators and their right to free expression, assembly, and protest. The resolution also justly condemned Iranian officials for their brutal crackdown on protestors in November, 2019, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.

The resolution pointed to economic grievances that sparked protests, but also highlighted deeper social and political issues that Iranians have long suffered, stating, “Whereas the protests began in response to an announced increase on the price of fuel and protesters have expressed numerous economic grievances, while also calling for the structural reform of the political system and condemning current and former Iranian leaders.”

The resolution rightfully calls on the Iranian government to abide by its human rights obligations, a call that must be repeated especially as repression of Iranian grievances continue to happen. However, it is important to extend human rights rhetoric beyond symbolic condemnations.

The House can take concrete measures to alleviate the suffering of Iranian people by addressing discriminatory immigration practices, such as the Muslim Ban that predominantly targets Iranians, push for sanctions relief that is obstructing access to food and medicines, and resolutely express objections to war with Iran. Iranian officials must be held to account for their human rights abuses, but we must take measures not to exacerbate the people’s suffering.

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