WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2012) — Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Mike Michaud (D-ME), John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), André Carson (D-IN) and James Moran (D-VA) have introduced H. Res. 828, legislation that would call on the government of Iran to release Nasrin Sotoudeh, and all prisoners of conscience from Evin prison. Ms. Sotoudeh was arrested in 2010 and was eventually sentenced to six years in jail because of her work defending the likes of Noble Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and other Iranian human rights advocates in court.
“Congress should support an effective approach to supporting human rights in Iran. The United States should be spotlighting the cases of prisoners of conscience publicly, supporting multilateral mechanisms for accountability, and supporting diplomacy as the best tool to raise human rights issues directly with Iran,” said Kucinich
“We should pursue diplomatic avenues to advance human rights in Iran. Escalation of the confrontation between the U.S. and Iran is counterproductive. In fact, imprisoned opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have warned that threats of war and increasing sanctions are only undermining the human rights situation in Iran,” said Kucinich. “Diplomacy works, but only if we are willing to give it a chance.”
This resolution calls for the Iranian government to unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh and all prisoners of conscience in Iran. It urges President Obama to utilize direct diplomacy with Iran to support human rights, and to work with the Secretary of State to support the establishment of multilateral mechanisms to advance human rights in Iran. It commends the people of Iran who have bravely and peacefully exercised their fundamental human rights.