Text: H.R.4649 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/23/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 4649


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, political processes in Iran, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 23, 2010

Ms. Ros-Lehtinen (for herself, Mr. Marshall, and Mr. Royce) 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


A BILL

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, political processes in Iran, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

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

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) 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”.

(2) Iran is a party to major international human rights instruments.

(3) The Government of Iran is violating its international obligations to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, including by—

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

(B) carrying out an increasingly high rate of executions in the absence of internationally recognized safeguards, including public executions;

(C) 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;

(D) 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;

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

(F) 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

(G) 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.

(4) 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, political processes in Iran, resulting in at least dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.

(5) On August 1, 2009, authorities in the Government 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.

(6) The “Supreme Leader” of Iran issued a statement on October 28, 2009, effectively criminalizing dissent in the aftermath of the national political processes of June 12, 2009.

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

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

(9) The Government 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, political processes, 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.

(10) The Iran Freedom Support Act (Public Law 109–293; 50 U.S.C. 1701 note) declares that it should be the policy of the United States—

(A) to support efforts by the people of Iran to exercise self-determination over the form of government of their country; and

(B) to support independent human rights and peaceful pro-democracy forces in Iran.

SEC. 3. 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, political processes in Iran.

(a) In general.—The President shall impose sanctions described in subsection (c) (1) and (2) with respect to each person on the list required by subsection (b), beginning not later than the date on which the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees the list required by subsection (b)(1) or the updated list required by subsection (b)(2) (as the case may be).

(b) List of persons who are complicit in certain human rights abuses.—

(1) 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 that 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.

(2) UPDATES OF LIST.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 90 days thereafter, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees an updated list under paragraph (1).

(3) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY.—The list required by 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.

(4) CONSIDERATION OF DATA FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AND NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS.—In preparing the list required by 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.

(c) Sanctions described.—The sanctions described in this subsection are the following:

(1) VISA BAN.—Ineligibility for a visa to enter the United States.

(2) 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.

(d) Termination of sanctions.—The provisions of this section shall cease to have force and effect beginning 90 days after the date on which the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that—

(1) the persons sanctioned under this section have ceased to be 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; and

(2) the Government of Iran has—

(A) unconditionally released all political prisoners, including the citizens of Iran detained in the aftermath of the June 12, 2009, political processes in Iran, and allowed for investigations of Iranian prisons by appropriate international human rights organizations;

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

(C) conducted a transparent investigation into the killings, arrest, and abuse of peaceful political activists in Iran and prosecuted those responsible;

(D) legalized all political activity;

(E) made public commitments to organizing free and fair elections for a new government—

(i) to be held in a timely manner within a period not to exceed 180 days after the date on which the President makes the determination and certification to the appropriate congressional committees under this subsection;

(ii) with the participation of multiple independent political parties that have full access to the media on an equal basis, including (in the case of radio, television, or other telecommunications media) in terms of allotments of time for such access and the times of day such allotments are given; and

(iii) to be conducted under the supervision of internationally recognized observers;

(F) ceased any interference with broadcasts such as Voice of America and Radio Farda; and

(G) made public commitments to and is making demonstrable progress in—

(i) establishing an independent judiciary; and

(ii) respecting internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

SEC. 4. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—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).

(2) COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES.—The term “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” means the annual reports required to be submitted by the Department of State to Congress under sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151n(d) and 2304(b)).

(3) GOVERNMENT OF IRAN.—The term “Government of Iran” includes any agency or instrumentality of the Government of Iran, including any entity that is controlled by the Government of Iran.

(4) HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.—The term “human rights abuses” means those forms of abuses detailed in the Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.