UHRP Welcomes Passage of Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in the Senate

For immediate release
September 12, 2019 9:30 am EST
Contact: Uyghur Human Rights Project +1 (202) 478 1920

UHRP welcomes the passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act by the United States Senate.  This is the first legislation passed by any nation responding to the Uyghur human rights crisis, and sends a powerful message to Beijing. Global outrage continues to grow over China’s horrific campaign of ethno-religious persecution.  

UHRP salutes the leadership of Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who have been longstanding advocates for a strong U.S. response to the Chinese government’s severe human rights abuses.  They have led a consistent drumbeat of bipartisan expressions of urgent concern about the Uyghur crisis, including a letter sent by 43 Members of Congress to Secretaries Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross calling for Magnitsky Sanctions and an expanded entities list of companies complicit in constructing the police state in East Turkestan. Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Ted Yoho (R-FL) made a similar call in their letter to Secretary Pompeo requesting information on US technology transfers to such companies. 

UHRP looks forward to swift action by the House of Representatives to pass a companion bill. The leadership of Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), Tom Souzzi (D-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Ted Yoho (R-FL) has been crucial in pushing for House action. The bill has significant support among human rights and religious freedom organizations, with 23 signing a joint letter calling for its passage.

The passage of this bipartisan legislation in the Congress is an important step in enacting a full range of effective policies for effective action to end the nightmare experienced by the Uyghur people since March 2017, and can serve as an example to other nations. The joint letter from 22 countries to the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner in July calling for the Chinese government to close the camps demonstrates the urgent concern registered in world capitals. “The human rights crisis in East Turkestan shocks the conscience.  We are seeing the beginnings of worldwide actions to respond to it,” said UHRP Director Omer Kanat.