Tags: Iran | Mark Kirk | Marco Rubio | Human rights | Iran | abuse

Rubio, Kirk Call for Crackdown On Iran's Human Rights Abuses

Rubio, Kirk Call for Crackdown On Iran's Human Rights Abuses
Senate candidate Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images; Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

Friday, 07 November 2014 02:39 PM

Two Republican senators have urged the Obama administration to step up the fight against the horrific human rights abuses in Iran.

In an opinion column for The Daily Beast, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said that Iran's "state of injustice" demands as much attention as the regime's growing nuclear threat and its support for international terrorism.

"As the United States and its partners attempt to finalize a nuclear deal with Iran, we believe that the United States and other democracies must do more to back up growing attention to Iran's human rights violations with concrete actions to stop and reverse these abuses," they wrote.

"That's why earlier this year we introduced the Iran Human Rights Accountability Act of 2014, not only to crack down on Iranian human rights abusers, including [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and President [Hassan] Rouhani, but also to support the Iranian people's democratic aspirations."

They pointed to a recent report by the United Nations' "special rapporteur" on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, which sheds light on the series of violations conducted in Iran on virtually a daily basis.

The report said that 687 people were executed in Iran in 2013 and 411 in the first of this year, for such crimes as adultery, alcohol use, drug possession and corruption.

There have also been executions for "moharebeh," or "enmity against God," resulting in the persecution of religious and ethnic minority groups "for exercising their protected rights, including freedom of expression and association."

According to Kirk and Rubio, the Shaheed report also revealed the "widespread and systematic use" of psychological and physical torture to obtain confessions.

Torture techniques include "prolonged solitary confinement, mock executions and the threat of rape, along with physical abuse, including severe beatings, use of suspension, electroshock and burnings," as well as flogging and amputations.

Kirk and Rubio slammed the regime in Tehran just days after Iran hanged 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari for stabbing to death a former Iranian intelligence ministry official who had tried to rape her. Khamenei had rejected calls for clemency from the United Nations and international human rights groups.

The GOP senators' comments came as reports surfaced that President Barack Obama had secretly written to Khamenei to discuss possible cooperation in the fight against Islamic militants in return for Tehran's acceptance of a nuclear deal.

"Who will stand up today for those Iranians aspiring to be free or simply to live in a society in which their wives, sisters, and daughters can live without fear of horrific personal attacks because of how they dress?" wrote Kirk and Rubio.

"The advance of human dignity in Iran will have much more to do with whether the regime in Tehran truly decides to change its illegitimate and destabilizing course and become a responsible actor on the world stage than any document it signs in Geneva or Vienna."

They concluded by saying, "In the meantime, we need to do much more to help the Iranian people bring about the day when young women like Reyhaneh Jabbari are able to live their lives to their full potential."

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Two Republican senators have urged the Obama administration to step up the fight against the horrific human rights abuses in Iran.
Mark Kirk, Marco Rubio, Human rights, Iran, abuse
Friday, 07 November 2014 02:39 PM
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