Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL)
September 18, 2020
OIAC Free Iran Virtual Conference
Hi. I’m Congressman Brad Schneider. Human rights is close to my heart and an essential issue in our global community. Your activism and engagement on the issue is critical as our democracies hold the Iranian government accountable for its egregious human rights record. For as long as I’ve been in Congress, I’ve advocated for the U.S. government to hold Iran accountable for its abysmal human rights record and its treatment of political opposition. In recent protests against the government over the past 18 months, as many as 1500 protesters have reportedly been killed for their activism.
These most recent actions are part of a decades-long history of the Iranian regime’s abuse of its own people, as your organization knows all too well. It is incredibly important that we memorialize the thousands of Iranians who lost their lives in the 1988 massacre of political dissidents, and I commend you for the work bringing a voice to those who have lost their lives. The only crime committed by those lost Iranians, men and women, was their bravery in opposing the government and believing in a system beyond the repressive regime.
The Iranian people deserve our support in recognizing the 1988 massacre and other tragedies of the past and their voices deserve to be heard today, as the Iranian people continue to voice their opposition to the Iranian regime. The United States must always stand with people around the world exercising their political rights, and we must always play a leadership role in holding the Iranian regime accountable for its misdeeds abroad and against their own people. Thank you for the awareness you bring to the 1988 massacre and for lending a voice to the voiceless. I stand with you.