UHRP Encouraged by US Commitment to Oppose Transnational Repression, Urges Multilateral Action
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.
Weaponized Passports: The Crisis of Uyghur Statelessness, April 1, 2020
The Fifth Poison: The Harassment of Uyghurs Overseas, November 28, 2017