Twenty-five years since the summer 1988 massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. to mark the occasion and highlight this manifest case of crime against humanity, Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC), its network of Iranian exile communities, and Members of Congress sponsored an exhibition in the United States House of Representatives
Congressional Exhibition: Pictures of executed political prisoners displayed at the event sponsored by 12 members of congress and OIAC.
Transcription of Representative’s Speeches:
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
I’m very pleased to be here with you, although pleased is not the proper word, because this is really an exhibition of a terrible tragedy, a tragedy that continues to unfold every day in Iran because it is under the rule, or the misrule, of the Ayatollah Khamanei who still controls everything that happens in Iran, and these pictures of all of these poor innocent victims of this despotic regime should serve as a reminder to all of us that, although this happened at a particular time, in 6 weeks 30,000 plus were killed, that the tragedy continues because we have Camp Liberty in Iraq, where the people are not afforded the protection that the Iraqi government and the US government promised to provide to them, so this serves as a reminder that tragedies continue, that it is not something of the past, although we must always pay attention to the past, because if not were condemned to repeat it in the future. So, I am very moved to be here, to see this portrait gallery of the faces of the innocence, who lost their lives fighting for freedom and democracy, and the residents of Camp Liberty continue that battle, as well as the Iranian American community here in exile. So I always feel, as a Cuban refugee, very much at home when I’m with the Iranian American community because we know what its like to lose a homeland, we know what its like to have despotic leaders in our native homeland, and we know that the desire for freedom and democracy is a universal right that should not be denied to the people of Cuba, nor to the people of Iran. So, as I look around, these portraits, I’m reminded that it is up to each and every one of us to do what we can to make sure that people live in freedom, without fear of persecution from their government. So I salute you for your courage, I thank you for inviting me to this solemn occasion, and this serves as a reminder to each and every one of us to how precious life is and how precious freedom and democracy are. So thank you for your courageous fight on behalf of these lofty principles, and thank you for this sad reminder of why this fight is ever important. Thank you so much.
Congressman Tom Cotton (R-AR) speaks at the Congressional Exhibition sponsored by 12 members of congress and the OIAC.
Congressman Tom Cotton (R-AK)
Thank you all, thank you for all the work that you do here and thank you for letting me speak to you. I understand that were going to be broadcasting to Iran as well. My name is Tom Cotton, I’m a congressman from Arkansas, I just want to say that the relationship the United States has with the Iranian people is very important, the Iranian regime has been the enemy of the United States for 34 years now and I’m committed in taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the Iranian regime not only no longer threatens the United States and our allies in the region, but no longer represses its own people in prisons, political dissidents, tortures them and kills them. Yesterday on the house floor we passed, for instance, a new Iranian sanctions legislation. There were some calls there, in orders there, in Congress, as in America, that we take a pause and not move forward because of the selection of Hassan Rowhani as the president of Iran. I say selection, not election, because Iran is a sham democracy, and they had a sham election that was filtered by the Mullahs to only allow pro-regime candidates to run, they censored the media, they oppressed dissidents and other opponents of the regime, this is obviously just an effort to try to dupe people in the West, who are capable of being duped, who do not realize the nature of the Iranian regime, which is a totalitarian theocracy that will do anything to suppress the rights of its own people, up to including their torture and their murder, as well as to project the similar type of destruction in the middle east and the rest of the world. You have many strong allies here in the House as well as the Senate, as you can tell by the broad bi-partisan vote yesterday on the Iranian sanctions legislation. The Iranian people have a good set of friends, not only in congress but among the American people, because everywhere and always the American people stand for individual liberty, for consensual government, and for the ability for each person to live in safety and security according to their God-given natural rights. So I just want to say thank you for letting me address you, thank you for all the work you do to keep this issue very prominent in Washington DC and America, and I look forward to keep working together. Thank you.