UPDATE 23- Zakka Family Appreciates Continued Support of the US Congress

Earlier today, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism held a hearing titled, “The Status of American Hostages in Iran.” Mr. Omar Zakka, the youngest son of Mr. Nizar Zakka, testified before the Committee on Nizar’s ongoing unlawful detention.

Continue reading UPDATE 23- Zakka Family Appreciates Continued Support of the US Congress

UPDATE 21- Zakka Family Thanks Congress For Their Efforts

Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate Nizar Zakka

Earlier today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee convened to markup H.R. 4744 – Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act, which was passed by the Committee and now goes to the House Floor for a vote. The measure, if passed by the House, would impose additional sanctions with respect to serious human rights abuses of the Government of Iran, and on Iranian officials involved in hostage-taking of U.S. citizens and U.S. Legal Permanent Residents.

Continue reading UPDATE 21- Zakka Family Thanks Congress For Their Efforts

Ros-Lehtinen and Sires Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter to the President Urging Invocation of Global Magnitsky Law in Support of the Nicaraguan People

The following press release was issued by Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on December 1, regarding The Global Magnitsky Law.

Cosigners include: Senators Marco Rubio, Robert Menendez, Ted Cruz, Bill Nelson, and Reps. Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Paul Cook, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Continue reading Ros-Lehtinen and Sires Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter to the President Urging Invocation of Global Magnitsky Law in Support of the Nicaraguan People

UPDATE 19- Zakka Family Appreciates Efforts By Sen. Cruz And Sen. Leahy, Others

Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate & Hostage Nizar Zakka

The Senate today approved S.Res. 245, a bipartisan resolution calling on the Government of Iran to release unjustly detained United States citizens and legal permanent resident aliens, and for other purposes.

Continue reading UPDATE 19- Zakka Family Appreciates Efforts By Sen. Cruz And Sen. Leahy, Others

UPDATE 18- Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Nizar Zakka

Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate & Hostage Nizar Zakka

On behalf of Mr. Nizar Zakka and his family, Mr. Zakka’s lawyer in the United States, Mr. Jason Poblete, issued the following statement:

Continue reading UPDATE 18- Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Nizar Zakka

La Prensa Editorial on The Nica Act

editorial-3On April 5, 2017, U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) re-introduced the Congress a bill which increases sanctions against the Ortega regime for it’s abuses against democracy and human rights.  H.R.1918 – the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA) of 2017 was motivated by the lack of democracy, rule of law and transparency in Nicaragua, and specifically by the Ortega regime.

While the Foundation cannot lobby, it supports the concept of  proposals such as the NICA Act because it helps raise awareness of growing problems in Nicaragua where the government has turned the tools of state against political opponents. The Foundation is helping a victim of political persecution in Nicaragua. You can learn more it here

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US Congress Approves Measure Banning Ransom Payments for US Hostages Held in Iran

Friday, 23 September 2016

On Thursday, September 22, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, offered an amendment during the Floor debate of on  H.R. 5931 – Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act. The measure, which passed in the House, included an amendment by Rep. Pompeo that prohibit ransom payments to any nation and sanctions Iranians responsible for holding U.S. nationals, including citizens as well as U.S. Legal Permanent Residents.

In his remarks, Rep. Pompeo discussed the unlawful detention of Mr. Nizar Zakka, a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident and internet freedom advocate who was sentenced earlier this week to 10 years prison –  a hostage of the Iranian regime (see video embedded below).

Mr. Zakka was kidnapped after traveling to Tehran for a conference at the invitation of the Iranian government to discuss women’s empowerment and the Internet.

Rep. Pompeo released the following statement after the bill was approved by the House of Representatives:

“Although the American people consider prohibitions on ransom payments to be U.S. policy, given the administration’s recent actions, we have to make this prohibition explicit.”

“Ransom payments put a price on the head of every American traveling abroad.  This bill prohibits the United States government from making a payment to secure the release of unjustly detained U.S. nationals or lawful residents.  Our constituents have told us this is an unacceptable use of their taxpayer dollars, and we are acting.”

More information on the detention and unjust verdict handed down against Mr. Zakka, please read more here.

Subcommittee Hearing: Deplorable Human Rights Violations in Cuba and Venezuela

On November 6, 2015, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a Subcommittee Hearing titled: Deplorable Human Rights Violations in Cuba and Venezuela led by South Carolina Representative Jeff Duncan.

Continue reading Subcommittee Hearing: Deplorable Human Rights Violations in Cuba and Venezuela