UHRP Welcomes Senate Bill to Re-Authorize Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2024

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For immediate release 
June 10, 2024, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Contact: Omer Kanat, +1 (202) 790-1795

The Uyghur Human Rights Project welcomes introduction of a bill to re-authorize the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, originally signed into law on June 17, 2020. 

UHRP expresses its deep appreciation to the bipartisan co-sponsors of the bill, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Jeff Merkeley (D-OR). 

“Without re-authorization of this law, the mandatory Magnitsky Sanctions will expire in June 2025. With an ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, the architects of the atrocity crimes cannot be allowed to escape sanctions,”said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat

He continued: “Uyghurs around the world thank Senator Rubio and Senator Merkeley for their determination to ensure there is accountability for violations of international human rights Conventions.”

The “Sunset” clause of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (Public Law No. 116-145, Section 6(h)) states that “any sanctions imposed under this section… shall terminate on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.”

“At a time when the Uyghur diaspora and Chinese dissidents remain the targets of transnational repression at the hands of Communist China, we must have the tools needed to confront this threat. This reauthorization is essential and I urge my colleagues to support this initiative,” stated Senator Rubio.

Senator Merkley emphasized, “The United States must continue to send a clear message that we will not be complicit in the Chinese government’s persecution and genocide of Uyghur Muslims. Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang are being tortured, imprisoned, enslaved, forced into labor, and pressured to abandon their religious and cultural practices by the Chinese government. Passing this bill is vital to holding China accountable for these grave human rights violations while protecting the victims of this genocide.”

Read more:

Op-ed: The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act is US Law. Where Are the Sanctions?, June 15, 2023 | The Diplomat | By Omer Kanat

Op-ed: Without Human Rights Sanctions, the World Is Normalizing China’s Genocide of Uyghurs, August 15, 2023 | The Diplomat | By Omer Kanat 

Uyghur Organizations Applaud Uyghur Caucus Co-chair Introduction of UGASA, April 24, 2024

UHRP Hails Creation of China Atrocity Crimes Coordinator by US Congress, December 15, 2023