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Bipartisan Caucus in US Congress Unites to Empower Iranian Women and Condemning Misogynous Regime

Bipartisan Caucus in US Congress Iranian Women 1

U.S. House representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) unveiled the establishment of an influential, bipartisan caucus consisting of nearly 20 legislators on Thursday, exclusively dedicated to championing the cause of Iranian women. Dubbed the Iranian Women Congressional Caucus, this panel will serve as a potent platform for Congress members to raise issues pertaining to the advancement of women’s freedom and democracy in Iran. The committee’s first decisive action was the unanimous passing of a joint resolution denouncing the chemical assault on Iranian school girls, the H. Res 310, condemning the Iranian regime and pledging solidarity with thousands of women and girls staging peaceful protests for a nuclear-free, democratic, and secular Iran.

The H. Res 310 condemns the Iranian regime for its inaction in addressing the poisoning of Iranian schoolgirls, the Daughters of the Iranian Revolution. The resolution highlights the widespread protests and demands for social freedom and political change led by women and youth in Iran.

The resolution notes that more than 5,000 schoolgirls in 29 of Iran’s 31 provinces have been hit by poison gas since the first attacks began in the city of Qom in November 2022. It mentions that the Iranian regime has been slow to respond and that angry parents are challenging the regime and calling the attacks “targeted and deliberate” to keep girls from getting an education.

The resolution states that protests have erupted in more than a dozen cities across Iran over the poisoning of thousands of schoolgirls and the regime is unable to contain the growing crisis with chants of “Death to the child-killing regime.” It also notes that security forces have unleashed tear gas in several cities against people who peacefully protested the government’s lack of action to provide safety and security for schoolgirls.

The resolution further points out that the Iranian judiciary has targeted journalists who have reported on the schoolgirls’ poisonings, accusing them of “spreading lies and rumors.” The United States and the United Nations (UN) have called on the Iranian regime to investigate the suspected poisonings of schoolgirls fully and hold those responsible accountable. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also contacted national health authorities and medical professionals about these incidents to gather better evidence.

The resolution condemns Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who has ignored the attacks for more than 100 days and has responded by blaming protesters for the gas attacks on schoolgirls. It also highlights the similarities in slogans and tactics used by protests nationwide, which reflects the overarching demands of the Iranian people and points to the organized nature of the protests.

Furthermore, the resolution points to the long-standing human rights abuses in Iran, including arbitrary or unlawful killings, executions for crimes not meeting the international legal standard of “most serious crimes,” or for crimes committed by juvenile offenders, and executions after trials without due process. It mentions that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran has highlighted the “extensive, vague, and arbitrary grounds in Iran for imposing the death sentence, which quickly can turn this punishment into a political tool.”

The resolution also notes the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners, including women and schoolgirls, who remained loyal to the Iranian Resistance. The massacre was carried out based on a fatwa to execute all political prisoners, and subsequent death commissions were formed, whose members included the Iranian regime’s current President, Ebrahim Raisi, an official from the Ministry of Intelligence, and a state prosecutor, to implement the fatwa.