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H.R. 4647 (111th): Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act

The text of the bill below is as of Feb 23, 2010 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 4647


February 23, 2010

(for himself, Ms. Berkley, Mr. Klein of Florida, Mr. Weiner, and Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Financial Services, Ways and Means, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To impose sanctions on persons who are complicit in human rights abuses committed against citizens of Iran or their family members after the June 12, 2009, elections in Iran, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act.



Congress makes the following findings:


Iran voted in the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, thereby committing to guarantee the life, liberty, and security of person of all people and rejecting cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.


The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran guarantees certain human rights and fundamental freedoms, including political and civil rights, along with economic, social, and cultural rights, including a prohibition on torture and a guarantee of sentencing according to the law.


The Islamic Republic of Iran is a party to 4 major United Nations human rights treaties: the Convention on the Rights of the Child (which it ratified on July 13, 1994), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (which it ratified on August 29, 1968), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (both of which it ratified on June 24, 1975).


The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is violating its international and constitutional obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, including by—


using torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging, and amputations;


carrying out an increasingly high rate of executions in the absence of internationally recognized safeguards, including public executions and executions of juvenile offenders;


using stoning as a method of execution and maintaining a high number of persons in prison who continue to face sentences of execution by stoning;


carrying out arrests, violent repression, and sentencing of women exercising their right to peaceful assembly, a campaign of intimidation against women's rights defenders, and continuing discrimination against women and girls;


permitting or carrying out increasing discrimination and other human rights violations against persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic, or other minorities;


imposing ongoing, systematic, and serious restrictions of freedom of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of opinion and expression, including the continuing closures of media outlets, arrests of journalists, and the censorship of expression in online forums such as blogs and websites; and


imposing severe limitations and restrictions on freedom of religion and belief, including by carrying out arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions, and lengthy jail sentences for those exercising their rights to freedom of religion or belief and proposing a provision in a draft penal code that sets out a mandatory death sentence for apostasy, the abandoning of one's faith.


On June 19, 2009, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concerns about the increasing number of arrests not in conformity with the law and the illegal use of excessive force in responding to protests following the June 12, 2009, elections in Iran, resulting in at least dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.


On August 1, 2009, authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran began a mass trial of more than 100 individuals in connection with election protests, most of whom were held for weeks, in solitary confinement, with little or no access to their lawyers or families, and many of whom showed signs of torture or abuse.


The Supreme Leader of Iran issued a statement on October 28, 2009, effectively criminalizing dissent in the aftermath of the national election of June 12, 2009.


On November 4, 2009, security forces in the Islamic Republic of Iran used brutal force to disperse thousands of protesters, resulting in a number of injuries and arrests, in violation of international standards regarding the proportionate use of force against peaceful demonstrations.


At least 8 citizens of Iran were killed and an undetermined number were injured on December 27, 2009, when security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran violently broke up peaceful gatherings during the Ashura holiday.


The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has recently sentenced numerous Iranian citizens to death without due process for politicized crimes relating to the peaceful demonstrations that followed the June 12, 2009, elections, including waging war against God, and has begun carrying out those execution sentences, including the death by hanging of 2 individuals on January 28, 2010.


Imposition of sanctions on certain persons who are complicit in human rights abuses committed against citizens of Iran or their family members after the June 12, 2009, elections in Iran


In general

Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e), the President shall impose sanctions described in subsection (c) with respect to each person on the list required by subsection (b).


List of persons who are complicit in certain human rights abuses


In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of persons who are citizens of Iran who the President determines are complicit in human rights abuses committed against citizens of Iran or their family members on or after June 12, 2009, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in Iran.


Updates of list

The President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees an updated list under paragraph (1) periodically and as new information becomes available.


Public availability

The list required under paragraph (1) shall be made available to the public and posted on the websites of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State.


Consideration of data from other countries and nongovernmental organizations

In preparing the list required under paragraph (1), the President shall consider data already obtained by other countries and nongovernmental organizations, including organizations in Iran, that monitor the human rights abuses of the Government of Iran.


Sanctions described

The sanctions described in this subsection are the following:


Visa ban

Ineligibility for a visa to enter the United States.


Financial sanctions

Sanctions authorized under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), including blocking of property and restrictions or prohibitions on financial transactions and the exportation and importation of property.


Exceptions To comply with international agreements

The President may, by regulation, authorize exceptions to the imposition of sanctions under this section to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, and other applicable international agreements.



The President may waive the requirement to impose or maintain sanctions with respect to a person under subsection (a) or the requirement to include a person on the list required by subsection (b) if the President—


determines that such a waiver is in the national interest of the United States; and


submits to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing the reasons for the determination.


Termination of sanctions

The provisions of this section shall cease to have force and effect on the date on which the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Iran has—


unconditionally released all political prisoners, including the citizens of Iran detained in the aftermath of the June 12, 2009, presidential election in Iran;


ceased its practices of violence, unlawful detention, torture, and abuse of citizens of Iran while engaging in peaceful political activity; and


conducted a transparent investigation into the killings, arrest, and abuse of peaceful political activists in Iran and prosecuted those individuals responsible.


Appropriate congressional committees defined

In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees has the meaning given that term in section 14(2) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–172; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note).