Washington, D.C. – National Iranian American Council issued the following statement:
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“We reiterate our call on the Iranian government to honor its human rights obligations, including by releasing all prisoners of conscience. The government has detained thousands of Iranians in the midst of the demonstrations and at least 2 have died while in detention. This is in addition to at least 21 who died during the initial protests that began on December 28. Many Iranians continue to demonstrate outside of Evin and other prisons were protesters have been held. The Iranian government needs to answer calls for their release, allow an independent investigation of the detainees’ deaths, and prosecute anyone involved in the deaths of detainees and of Iranians expressing their right to free expression and peaceful assembly.
“We continue to support targeted sanctions against human rights violators in the Iranian government and urge that these measures be carried out multilaterally and in a manner that does not punish ordinary people. We also continue to urge American officials and companies to take necessary steps to ensure that online communications tools are fully available for Iranians and that sanctions are not unintentionally aiding Iran’s government in censoring Internet communications.
“It is up to Iranians living in Iran to decide their country’s destiny. As outside observers, we will continue our efforts to defend their rights and that the international community presses the Iranian government to respect its human rights obligations. We stand in solidarity with all Iranians who seek a government that respects the human rights and dignity of Iranians everywhere and democratically represents its people.”