UHRP applauds passage of the UIGHUR Act of 2019 by the U.S. House of Representatives

For immediate release

December 3, 2019 10:05 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) +1 (202) 478 1920

UHRP applauds the passage of the UIGHUR Act of 2019 by the US House of Representatives, approved December 3 on a virtually unanimous vote of 407 to 1. This action sends an important signal to Beijing that the international community is not ignoring the crimes against humanity taking place in East Turkestan.

The Senate unanimously approved the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act on September 11. UHRP urges the two chambers to reconcile these bills as quickly as possible so that a U.S. policy response to the Uyghur crisis can be enacted into law.

“This action by the U.S. Congress paves the way for other countries to act,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “Now that both the Senate and the House have gone on the record in two overwhelming votes to re-shape American policy to address the crisis, it is time for Germany, the UK, Australia, Canada, and other countries to pass similar legislation.”

He went on to say, “We are grateful to both the Senate and the House for demonstrating strong bipartisan cooperation in addressing the agony of the Uyghurs. Each and every speech on the House floor tonight was a forceful indictment of crimes against humanity. Tonight’s action gives Uyghurs hope.”

The House bill passed today would enact export controls to prevent U.S. technology from being used to bolster the Chinese government’s total-control surveillance capabilities. This would complement the Commerce Department’s October 2019 action sanctioning several Chinese tech firms complicit in building the security state in East Turkestan.  The evidence of the Chinese tech sector’s deep involvement in human rights abuses in the region continues to build, and UHRP welcomes legislation to ensure that American firms are not complicit in enabling their abuses.

Senators Rubio and Menendez issued a joint statement commending the House for taking this “important step in countering the totalitarian Chinese government’s widespread and horrific human rights abuses” as well as “Beijing’s intimidation and threats against U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents on American soil.”