UHRP Welcomes Latest Magnitsky Sanctions on Perpetrators of Uyghur Genocide, SenseTime Investment Ban

US Treasury

December 10, 2021, 3:20 p.m. EST
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Louisa Greve +1 (571) 882-4825

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) welcomes today’s Global Magnitsky human rights sanctions on two Chinese government officials, Shohrat Zakir and Erkin Tuniyaz (also spelled Erken Tuniyaz and Alken Tuniaz). The Treasury Department’s announcement on International Human Rights Day represents an escalation of pressure on the perpetrators of the genocide and crimes against humanity. 

“Shohrat Zakir and Erkin Tuniyaz are responsible for unspeakable brutality in the Uyghur homeland,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “They should be on every country’s sanctions list. But even with today’s announcement, there are still only 10 PRC officials under U.S. sanctions for the atrocities. Much more is needed.”   

UHRP also welcomes today’s announcement of a ban on U.S. investment in facial-recognition giant SenseTime, one of several Chinese companies implementing blanket surveillance of Uyghurs. Their “Uyghur-tracking” systems are high-tech tools for implementing the Chinese government’s genocidal policy.

In addition, UHRP praises today’s State Department announcement of a visa ban on two other government officials responsible for the atrocities, Hu Lianhe and Chen Mingguo. 

“We thank President Biden for the strong U.S. actions today,” Kanat continued. “For Uyghurs, it is the first time in five years we have had good news on International Human Rights Day.” 

UHRP has long called for ending investment flows to complicit companies, urging pension funds and endowments to divest from these companies. As we noted in 2019, “The development of technologies which can be used to repress fundamental freedoms should be a major concern to nations and individuals around the world.” 

January 19, 2021: UHRP urges worldwide action in the wake of genocide finding

July 9, 2020: At last, accountability for human rights crimes against the Uyghur people

July 8, 2020: UHRP Welcomes Global Action To Address Likely Genocide, Finally

August 3, 2020: UHRP hails long-awaited sanctions on China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps

May 27, 2020: UHRP Applauds Continued Action by Executive Branch on Uyghur Human Rights Crisis

December 20, 2019: UHRP Welcomes European Call for Targeted Sanctions In Response to the Uyghur Crisis

October 9, 2019: Uyghur Human Rights Project applauds U.S. sanctions against Chinese entities and officials complicit in human rights violations