UHRP Praises CECC Findings on the Uyghur Genocide, Calls for Stronger US Policies


November 18, 2022 | 9:30 a.m. EDT
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 819-0598, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722. 

The Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) reiterated an emerging consensus that the Chinese government is committing atrocities crimes—including genocide and crimes against humanity—against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, in its annual report this week.

“The CECC recommendations highlight huge gaps in US policies, which are still too weak and ineffective, in the face of  the Chinese government’s ongoing crimes targeting Uyghurs,” said Omer Kanat, UHRP Executive Director. “We need concrete action to stop American investments in genocide-enabling surveillance companies and a real rescue plan for refugees who are at risk of deportation and statelessness in third countries, as the CECC points out.”

“The U.S. still has not imposed all the targeted human rights sanctions required under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020,” continued Kanat. “No Magnitsky sanctions have been imposed since December 2021, despite the ongoing genocide.”

Research from the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) in 2021 and 2022 informed key findings of the CECC report, including on transnational repression and government efforts to forcibly assimilate Uyghur children.

Senator Jeff Merkley, CECC Chair, pinpoints what is at stake for American policy when he emphasizes in a statement that concrete action by government agencies is still needed “to protect those fleeing persecution, facing transnational repression, fighting coercion, or fearing the destruction of their culture.” 

UHRP remains highly concerned that the US government has not been effective in ending the coercion and suppression of Uyghur’s freedom of speech even in the United States, as emphasized by Representative Jim McGovern, CECC Cochair, in his remarks on the CECC’s findings regarding “transnational repression, where Chinese authorities have reached into the United States and other countries to repress people critical of Chinese policies.”

UHRP also urges the National Security Council to carry out the full set of CECC recommendations for the Executive Branch, in line with the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 and the May 2022 U.S. Strategy to Anticipate, Prevent, and Respond to Atrocities.

In light of UHRP’s latest research on forced marriage in East Turkistan, UHRP urges the US government to incorporate analyses of gender-based violence against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in its reporting, and raise state-sponsored forced marriage and sexual violence as a core element of ongoing atrocity crimes. In particular, we urge attention to this form of sexual violence in upcoming annual reports on International Religious Freedom and Trafficking in Persons, and in the State Department’s Annual Country Report on China.