U.S. Congress Condemns Uyghur Genocide, Gives Hope to Uyghurs Around the World
December 8, 2021, 7:18 p.m. EST
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722
UHRP hails today’s passage of a landmark resolution (H.Res. 317) condemning the Chinese government’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity” against the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim peoples.
The House of Representatives condemned the atrocity crimes “in the strongest terms,” and called for action by the UN Security Council. The lawmakers urged the President to “take all possible actions” to bring the genocide and crimes against humanity to an end, and to “hold the perpetrators of these atrocities accountable under international law.”
“This resolution gives Uyghurs hope,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “Uyghurs have called for urgent action at the UN Security Council for the past three years. We are very grateful to Representative Michael McCaul and Foreign Affairs Chairman Gregory Meeks. They have shown bipartisan leadership in ensuring the U.S. Congress speaks strongly to condemn the genocide and to mobilize UN action.”
Prior to the vote, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) paid tribute to Uyghur camp survivors for speaking out, and invoked Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for everyone to be “champions of human rights wherever human rights are under threat.” He said the resolution is a “clarion call” for governments around the world to condemn the Chinese government’s atrocities. Mr. Meeks noted that the Congress is not the first parliamentary body that has spoken out, citing the genocide-recognition resolutions passed by the UK and Canada, along with the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Belgium.
“These crimes are the moral test of our time,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), HFAC Ranking Member and the sponsor of the bill. “Congress has rarely invoked the Genocide Convention — it is a historic day,” he continued, saying the world’s response to this crime is a test of the post-World War II system designed to stop these atrocities. He noted that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was created in response to the atrocities of the Holocaust and the Nazi concentration camps, and forcefully condemned the Chinese government’s concentration camps.