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U.S. House Resolution Demands Release of Pastor in Iran, “Sends Powerful Message”
"We're grateful that so many members of Congress - from different political and religious backgrounds - understand the importance of standing up for religious freedom, for human rights," said Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ Executive Director
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2012—The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) applauds the approval of a U.S. House resolution condemning Iran and calling for the immediate release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani - sending a powerful message that human rights and religious freedom transcend political and religious differences. The ACLJ, which heard from more than 180,000 Americans urging House members to approve H.R. 556, is now reaching nearly one million Twitter accounts worldwide in support of Nadarkhani through its "Tweet for Youcef" campaign.
"The truly bipartisan support in the House to stand up for Pastor Youcef and demand his release is extraordinary," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ. "Iran is violating international law with its detention and promised execution of Pastor Youcef. We're grateful that so many members of Congress - from different political and religious backgrounds - understand the importance of standing up for religious freedom, for human rights."
The resolution, H.R. 556, was spearheaded by Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA), an evangelical Christian conservative, and Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim in Congress. After generating tremendous support, the House approved the resolution today 417-1. The ACLJ now plans to urge members of the Senate to stand with Nadarkhani as well.
"As our attention now turns toward a similar resolution being introduced in the Senate, we continue to expand our global social media campaign to free Pastor Youcef," said Sekulow. "Our 'Tweet for Youcef' campaign is closing in on reaching one million Twitter accounts around the globe, and is a vital tool in keeping Pastor Youcef in the media spotlight and keeping pressure on Iran."
The ACLJ's "Tweet for Youcef" social media campaign now has reached more than 960,000 Twitter accounts in 198 countries and territories, with more than 3,500 people committing to send one tweet a day on behalf of Nadarkhani.
International soccer icon Ricardo Kaká, the 17th most followed person on Twitter in the world with more than 8.8 million followers, has joined the "Tweet for Youcef" campaign, among other world celebrities and political figures, including: Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Rep. Michele Bachmann and actresses Patricia Heaton and Julie Benz.
Today marks the 871st day of Nadarkhani's illegal detention.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the ACLJ focuses on constitutional law in the United States and works to protect the religious and human rights in the international arena through its work with global affiliates. The ACLJ is based in Washington, D.C.