(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/29/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on all Americans who support human rights and religious freedom to contact their elected Representative in the House and urge them to support critical legislation taking action against the internment of more than a million Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese government that will undergo a markup tomorrow.
The Uyghur Human Rights and Policy Act of 2019 was passed by the Senate in September and now must pass the House of Representatives before being sent to the President to be signed into law. On Wednesday, lawmakers from the House Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to debate, amend and modify the bill, which may determine its fate.
SEE: Uyghur Human Rights and Policy Act of 2019
The bill was introduced earlier this year in response to reports of gross human rights violations by Chinese officials against the country’s Uyghur population, including the mass internment of over one million persons, pervasive high-tech surveillance across the Xinjiang province, and the systemic denial of the freedoms of expression, religion, and movement.
Uyghur Muslim concentration camp detainees report being forced to listen to lectures, learn Mandarin, sing songs praising the Chinese Communist Party, and are coerced into abandoning their faith. Some inmates are forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, both forbidden activities in Islam. Some are tortured. Muslim women detainees have reported being sexually assaulted, raped, forcefully sterilized, and made to have abortions in Chinese detention facilities.
The bill would:
- Call for the imposition of sanctions on China under the International Religious Freedom Act
- Urge the application of sanctions against specific Chinese government officials under the Global Magnitsky Act
- Ask the Secretary of Commerce to consider prohibiting the sale of U.S.-made goods to Chinese state agents in the Xinjiang province
- Call on U.S. companies operating in Xinjiang to publicly assert that their commercial activities are not contributing to human rights violations
- Call on the Secretary of State to consider creating a special position, the Special Coordinator for Xinjiang, to coordinate the U.S. response to these human rights violations
- Call on the Secretary of State to submit a report detailing the number of persons detained in re-education camps, the conditions in those camps, and the surveillance methods used by authorities in the region
Earlier this month, CAIR condemned the NBA for silencing Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey over his support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and for the league’s continued operation of a training academy in Xinjiang.
SEE: CAIR, CAIR-Houston Condemn NBA for Bowing to Chinese Pressure after Houston Rockets Manager Backs Democracy in Hong Kong
CAIR also welcomed visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the detention of Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other minority groups in China’s Xinjiang province.
SEE: CAIR Welcomes Sanctions on Chinese Officials Involved in Detention of Uyghur Muslims
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.