USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George testified on June 19 before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing entitled “One Year Under Rouhani: Iran’s Abysmal Human Rights Record.”
From the testimony:
How do we evaluate President Rouhani’s first year in office, especially given the expectations of change that the supposedly “moderate” Rouhani himself encouraged during his campaign for the presidency? The picture is bleak. President Rouhani has not delivered on his campaign promises of strengthening civil liberties for religious minorities. In fact, the number of Baha’is and Christians in prison for their faith increased over the past year. Physical attacks, harassment, detention, arrests, and imprisonment intensified. Even some of the recognized non-Muslim religious minorities protected under Iran’s constitution – Jews, Armenian and Assyrian Christians, and Zoroastrians – face harassment, intimidation, discrimination, arrests, and imprisonment. Majority Shi’a and minority Sunni Muslims, including clerics who dissent, face intimidation and imprisonment. Dissidents and human rights defenders increasingly have been subject to abuse and several were sentenced to death and even executed for the capital crime of “enmity against God.”
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