Press Releases

CAIR Action Alert: Ask Speaker Pelosi to Hold to Vote China Sanctions Following Disclosure of Secret Files on Mass Detention of Uyghur Muslims

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/25/19) — In response to The New York Times publishing more than 400 pages of leaked Chinese government documents detailing the mass detention of Uighurs, Kazakhs and others Muslims in concentration camps in the Xinjiang region, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging all Americans to call U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to ask that she immediately hold a vote on the bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act (S. 178/H.R. 649), which would among other things sanction China for human rights abuses.

CALL SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI NOW at (202)-225-0100, and tell her:

“I’m calling on House Speaker Pelosi to immediately hold a vote on the House floor on the Uyghur (ˈwÄ“-ËŒgu̇r) Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, critical legislation that will take action against the internment of more than a million Uyghur Muslims by the Chinese government in concentration camps. Recent reporting by The New York Times on more than 400 pages of leaked Chinese government files has shown without a doubt that government of China is using the ”˜organs of dictatorship’ to show ”˜absolutely no mercy’ in their round-up and mass-detention of more than a million Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.”


On October 30, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a mark-up-session and approved the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019, with unanimous consent. The bill was reported out of the committee. The bill has already been adopted by the U.S. Senate. 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.

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

Dubbed the “Xinjiang Papers” by the New York Times, more than 400 pages of leaked Chinese government document reveal classified Chinese government directives and private speeches by leaders of that country on the mass detention of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region. Included in the leaked files are quotes by China President Xi Jinping to government officials instructing them to use the “organs of dictatorship” to show “absolutely no mercy” to Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang region as part of China’s “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism.” The Chinese Communist Party boss for the region Chen Quanguo is also shown instructing officials to “round up everyone who should be rounded up.”

The New York Times reports that the Chinese government will detain Uighur Muslims for common Islamic practices such as “wearing long beards, giving up smoking or drinking, studying Arabic and praying outside mosques.” Leaked documents reveal Chinese government officials are being instructed to tell college students returning home to Xinjiang who find their parents or family members missing that “their behavior could either shorten or extend the detention of their relatives” – a veiled threat.

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.

Last 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 region.

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. 


CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Coordinator Ayan Ajeen, 202-774-0770,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,





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