By Heather Clark
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the release of an American pastor that has been imprisoned in Iran, as well as all others “detained on account of their religious beliefs.”
The resolution, which acts as a statement and does not hold any legislative power, was passed without opposition on Thursday (Nov. 14).
“Resolved, that the Senate—(1) recognizes that freedom of religious belief and practice is a universal human right and a fundamental freedom of every individual, regardless of race, sex, country, creed, or nationality, and should never be arbitrarily abridged by any government; (2) recognizes that governments have a responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens; and (3) calls on the Government of Iran to immediately release Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs,” it reads.
The resolution was introduced by Senator James Risch of Idaho and co-sponsored by 11 others, including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida. A similar resolution is pending in the House and is expected to go up for a vote in the near future.