At the Free Iran World Summit 2023 in the headquarters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, US Congressman Raul Ruiz was among the distinguished speakers who announced their backing of the Iranian people’s uprising as well as their Resistance movement. Taking pride in being a co-sponsor of the US House Resolution 100 in support of the Iranian people’s uprising, Congressman Ruiz encouraged the Iranian diaspora to stand firm in their quest for a free, democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Republic of Iran.
The full script of the speech of Representative Raul Ruiz follows:
Madame Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Ladies and gentlemen and good people of Iran, good evening. I am Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz. I’m an emergency medicine physician and a Congressman in the United States House of Representatives. I represent a diverse population in Southern California, including many proud and brave Iranian Americans.
I’m here to stand in solidarity with you, the Iranian diaspora, who have never given up hope for a free and democratic Iran. I’m here to collectively dream with widows, parents, students, workers, women, and girls who have been killed, imprisoned, raped, tortured, and poisoned for daring to dream of freedom and equality by a regime that has for too long violated their human rights.
I am here to say that I see you. We see you. We are inspired by your courage, and we morally support your cause for freedom and democracy.
As a son of farm workers who grew up in an impoverished community shackled by discrimination and poverty, I care deeply about your dream. I understand the sacrifices, struggles, hardship, and hope necessary for a better life with dignity, prosperity, equality, and human rights for all under the law.
This is why, as an emergency physician, I care for people’s health and fight for people’s human rights. And as a husband and father, it truly breaks my heart to hear the stories of women and girls who are attacked for wanting equal rights and to see what the people of Iran have to go through just to be heard and recognized.
For decades, Iranians have been battling with their government to become a democracy, to respect their basic human rights. After years of repression, the Iranian people saw this fight catch fire again last year. It caught fire again because of a brave 22-year-old young woman named Mahsa Amini, who was arrested in Tehran on September 13, 2022, for allegedly wearing her headscarf too loosely.
Three days later, like many young men and women arbitrarily arrested, Mahsa tragically died while in custody. Her death triggered protests across Iran. We saw brave Iranians stream out into the streets to show their support in a show of solidarity and courage. Iranian women and girls, men and boys, students and workers, courageously took a stand and said no more. No more to women living by separate sets of rules than men. And no more being targeted and attacked simply for speaking up and speaking out.
The strength and courage shown by these women, girls, men, and boys are simply awe-inspiring. In the months since Mahsa’s death, protests have continued. Hundreds of protesters men, women, boys and girls, students and workers have been killed and thousands have been detained.
Families have been forever changed by the loss of loved ones no longer seated at their tables. However, this has not deterred protesters and it has not stopped families from taking on their loved ones’ mission for a better tomorrow.
.@RepRaulRuizMD: I'm a proud supporter of #HRes100, which gives the sentiments of the US Congress and the people of #America in support for the Iranian people's desire for a democratic and non-nuclear Republic of #Iran.https://t.co/ofhW0adOd8
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) July 1, 2023
Instead, they have turned their sorrow and anger for the loss of Mahsa and their family and friends into a nationwide call for change. Calling for a free and democratic Republic of Iran in Iran that recognizes all Iranian’s basic human rights in Iran that encourages women and girls to be educated, in Iran that gives equal opportunities for all, including minority and religious groups in Iran that promotes prosperity for all in Iran that values students’ rights, workers’ rights and women’s rights. And an Iran that allows all of its people to succeed in whatever way they choose to do so. An Iran of Iranians, by Iranians and for Iranians.
Today, we stand here and applaud your efforts to demand that a future Iran, a democratic, free, Republic of Iran. A democracy that will allow the Iranian people to have a voice. A democracy that allows the people to hold their government accountable by allowing Iranians to express their grievances through their freedom of speech and protest.
A democracy that empowers the people of Iranians to vote, allowing them to be a part of the decision-making process to better their own lives. And a democracy that will respect human rights, minority rights, and women’s rights, where everyone’s dignity and rights are respected under the law.
And that is why, as a member of Congress, I am a proud supporter of House Resolution 100 which gives the sentiment of the United States Congress and the people of America in support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic and nonnuclear Republic of Iran and condemns the violations of human rights.
This resolution recognizes the four decades that Iranians have fought for democracy, led by women who have endured the massacre of 1988, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and death. It speaks to the Iranian people’s rejection of a monarchic dictatorship and religious tyranny. And it acknowledges this very gathering from 2018, where advocates met to show support for the opposition leader Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan for the future of Iran, which calls for the universal right to vote and free elections.
So today we stand with you in a bipartisan way. The Iranian diaspora and the brave Iranian people, especially the women and girls are risking their lives every day for a free Iran. It is because of your courage, your heart, and sheer will that I know one day we will see a free, democratic Republic of Iran.
Thank you and God bless you.