We Did It Together! The MAHSA Act is Officially Law!

We Did It Together! The MAHSA Act is Officially Law! 

CBS News 24/7 President Biden Signs $95 Billion Foreign Aid Package into Law

Washington, DC — Today, President Biden signed the MASHA Act into law as part of a larger foreign aid package!  This win comes after nearly two years of dedicated advocacy by PAAIA and the larger Iranian American community. 

PAAIA is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that worked to make today a reality. Since Mahsa Amini died in Iranian state custody in September 2022, the world has witnessed a resurgent opposition from the people of Iran who continue to fight for their freedom and human rights.  PAAIA is proud to stand with the Iranian people as they protest their government and their leaders’ brutal acts and unjust laws. 

“The passage of the MAHSA Act is an important way to hold Iranian leaders accountable for their inhumane actions,” said Dr. Neda Bolourchi. “Congress’s codification of these sanctions shows the people of Iran that we stand with and support them in their ongoing fight for human rights.” 

The Mahsa Amini Human rights and Security Act (MAHSA Act) requires President Biden and subsequent presidents to sanction offices and entities of the Islamic Republic for their ongoing human rights violations and support for terrorism under the authority of existing executive orders.  It also requires the imposition of visa and property bans.  

PAAIA has fiercely advocated for the MAHSA Act since its reintroduction and helped to secure dozens of cosponsors in both chambers.  We are proud to see the immense impact the Iranian American community can have when we come together in support of a common goal. 

The MAHSA Act was first passed in the House of Representatives in September of 2023, and then another version of the bill was passed in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 16th. The following day, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Michael McCaul, added the House version of the legislation to the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act which passed the House as part of a foreign aid package on Saturday. Yesterday, April 23rd, the package was passed by the Senate, and today President Biden officially signed it into law! 

PAAIA now turns its attention to Internet freedom for Iran. Holding Iranian leaders accountable for their atrocities is imperative, but so is supporting Iranian civil society and aiding the protest movement in Iran. PAAIA is working with Members of Congress to provide the Iranian people with increased Internet access and ways to circumvent censorship. Telecommunication tools are useful for communication within and outside of Iran and they remain vital for Woman, Life, Freedom organizers. We will continue working with legislators to facilitate access to these tools as we stand with the Iranian people in their ongoing fight for freedom.

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