UHRP Encouraged by US Commitment to Oppose Transnational Repression, Urges Multilateral Action

State Department (1)

For immediate release
March 22, 2022 | 1:00 p.m. EDT
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) commends the recent action by the US State Department to promote accountability for transnational repression by Chinese government officials, and encourages a multilateral response going forward.

“The atrocities Uyghurs are facing extend far beyond our homeland—we are not safe from harassment and intimidation abroad. Every single Uyghur in the diaspora has been subject to this kind of transnational repression, even in democratic countries,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “In non-democratic countries, hundreds of Uyghurs have been detained and deported to China to face torture and concentration camps. This has to stop.”

In a statement, the State Department announced it imposed “visa restrictions on PRC officials” responsible for repressive policies targeting “religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic minority groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labor organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protestors in China and beyond.”

The statement also called on PRC officials to cease transnational repression of Uyghur American activists by “denying exit permission to their family members in China.”

UHRP has documented China’s transnational repression in a series of reports beginning in 2017, documenting systematic harassment and coercion of diaspora members, travel restrictions and statelessness, forced-speech videos, detention and deportation, and hacking and surveillance of Uyghurs in 22 democracies.

The U.S. and other countries should take vigorous action to combat China’s transnational repression, and protect Uyghurs and members of other vulnerable groups.

Urgent and long-overdue actions include policies to recognize that the Chinese government refuses to provide Uyghurs with vital documents; to create resettlement programs to rescue at-risk refugees in third countries; to refuse to extradite Uyghurs in violation of international human rights treaties and norms; and to sanction and prosecute agents committing cross-border threats, intimidation, and coercion; and restricting the export of surveillance technologies used in tracking and controlling Uyghurs abroad.

Read more:

UHRP Welcomes Prosecutions of Chinese Secret Police Harassing and Spying in the U.S., March 16, 2022

“Your Family Will Suffer”: How China is Hacking, Surveilling, and Intimidating Uyghurs in Liberal Democracies, November 10, 2021

“Nets Cast from the Earth to the Sky”: China’s Hunt for Pakistan’s Uyghurs, August 11, 2021

No Space Left to Run: China’s Transnational Repression of Uyghurs, June 24, 2021

The Government Never Oppresses Us’: China’s proof-of-life videos as intimidation and a violation of Uyghur family unity, February 2, 2021 

Weaponized Passports: The Crisis of Uyghur Statelessness, April 1, 2020

Repression Across Borders: The CCP’s Illegal Harassment and Coercion of Uyghur Americans, August 28, 2019

‘Another Form of Control’: Complications in obtaining documents from China impacts immigration processes and livelihoods for Uyghurs abroad, August 10, 2018

The Fifth Poison: The Harassment of Uyghurs Overseas, November 28, 2017

They Can’t Send Me Back: Uyghur Asylum Seekers in Europe face pressure to return to China, September 20, 2011