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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to introduce a bill calling for the United States and its allies to continue their support for the Iranian protesters who have been fighting for freedom and prosperity in their home country. This proposal seeks to hold the Iranian government accountable for the nearly 20 individuals who have been killed and 4,500 individuals who have been incarcerated since the protests began, 490 of whom remain in prison. The legislation, also introduced with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and James Lankford (R-OK), calls on the United States to continue issuing statements in support of the Iranian people and to work with foreign partners to monitor and respond to the Iranian regime’s treatment of protesters. Furthermore, it requires the State Department to work with other government agencies and communications companies to build an archive chronicling the evolution of the protests since December 28, 2017, and to devise a strategy to protect and promote the basic rights of Iranian citizens.
“The United States must not retreat from its responsibility to lead the international community in protecting human rights and condemning oppressive regimes around the world. In Iran, this means supporting the democratic aspirations of those Iranian protestors who—in pursuit of their universal freedoms—braved violence and harsh retribution at the hands of their own government,” said Baldwin. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation because we must respond to the Iranian regime’s continued violation of its citizens’ human rights, including by developing effective strategies to limit Tehran’s tools of repression.”
Summary of the Continued Support for the Iranian People Act of 2018:
The United States will continue to condemn the Iranian government’s violation of human rights. The United States will also continue to support the people of Iran in their fight for freedom and work with international partners to monitor and respond to the protests in Iran.
Archive: To document the Government of Iran’s actions to shut down protestors’ use of social media and the Internet, the State Department, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, will work with social media companies to build an anonymized public record of the regimes efforts to block citizens’ communications.
Strategy: The State Department, in consultation with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will work with relevant social media and telecommunications companies and internet service providers to develop a strategy to prevent the Government of Iran from shutting down internet access and blocking access to social media applications.
· Reporting: As part of the first Annual Country Report on Human Rights after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall include an unclassified report documenting the actions, including incarcerations and funding mechanisms used, of the Iranian government in response to the protests that began on December 28, 2017.
Briefing: The Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury shall brief, in an unclassified and classified format, if necessary, the appropriate congressional committees on the information required by the report described above.
An online version of this release is available here.