Attention! Tustin Hangar ResourceClick Here

California's 40th District

Jun 6, 2024 | Uncategorized

Iran International

Twelve bipartisan members of Congress, led by Brad Sherman (D-CA), have written to US President Joe Biden urging him to “swiftly apply all available sanctions” to those involved in the death sentence of dissident Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi.

The legislators asked Mohammad Reza Tavakoli and Morteza Barati, the judges in charge of both courts against Salehi, to be sanctioned in the US, noting that the UK and Canada had already sanctioned Barati.

“Toomaj Salehi’s death sentence is the Islamic Republic’s latest act of repression towards the Iranian people and cannot go unanswered,” the letter read.

Salehi was arrested for his support of the protests that erupted across Iran after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of the morality police in 2022. A UN Fact-Finding Mission has since said that the Iranian state is responsible for the physical violence that led to Amini’s death. The Islamic Republic killed over 500 protesters and arrested thousands during the demonstrations, dubbed as Woman, Life, Freedom.

The singer was sentenced to over six years in prison in July 2023 but was released on a technicality last November. He was quickly rearrested and given a death sentence by a revolutionary court in Isfahan, which sparked a global outcry and demonstrations in Europe and North America amid continued outrage over the use of capital punishment by the Iranian government in political cases.

“The Ayatollah’s regime has a decades-long record of torturing and murdering Iranian dissidents, from a series of mass torture and executions of up to 30,000 Iranian political prisoners in 19883 to the murder of about 1,500 in the 2019 ‘Bloody November’ crackdown to the murders of potentially thousands of protesters since September 2022,” the US lawmakers said in their letter.

Last week, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers introduced TOOMAJ Act. The bill aims to impose targeted sanctions on Iranian officials and judges who arrest, jail, and impose death sentences on dissidents.

Targeting Oppressive Officers to Mitigate Abuse in the Judiciary Act would impose sanctions “on the judges, prosecutors and investigators of the Islamic Republic’s Islamic Revolutionary Courts, which are involved in sham trials, torture, and inhumane treatment and sentencing of Iranian protesters and political dissidents.”

“Toomaj Salehi has used his platform to give a voice to the voiceless and bravely speak out against the Iran regime’s torture, abuse, and crackdown against the free will of the Iranian people,” Rep. Young Kim (R-CA), one of the bill’s lead sponsors, said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Unfortunately, he is just the latest victim of the regime’s cruelty.”

US lawmakers have introduced various bills since the beginning of the Woman Life Freedom in Iran. In April, the US Congress passed the MAHSA Act, which addressed human rights abuses in Iran. Under the Mahsa Amini Human Rights and Security Accountability Act sanctions will be imposed on Iran’s supreme leader’s office, its appointees, and anyone associated with it. To what extent, however, the Biden administration plans to implement the bill is unclear.

Signup to receive our Email Newsletters

The Latest News