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CAIR Calls for ‘Immediate International Action’ After Amnesty Report Describes ‘Dystopian Hellscape’ for Uyghur Muslims in China

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/11/21) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called for immediate international action” following the release of an Amnesty International report describing China’s abuse of its Uyghur Muslim minority as a “dystopian hellscape.”

Amnesty’s report says the Uyghurs face systematic and state-organized “mass internment and torture amounting to crimes against humanity.” More than 50 former Uyghur concentration camp detainees detailed illegal mass imprisonment, torture and persecution.

Amnesty Report — China: “Like We Were Enemies in a War”: China’s Mass Internment, Torture, and Persecution of Muslims In Xinjiang

Uyghurs live in China’s ‘dystopian hellscape’, Amnesty says

That report states in part:

“Since 2017, under the guise of a campaign against ‘terrorism’, the government of China has carried out massive and systematic abuses against Muslims living in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang). Far from a legitimate response to the purported terrorist threat, the government’s campaign evinces a clear intent to target parts of Xinjiang’s population collectively on the basis of religion and ethnicity and to use severe violence and intimidation to root out Islamic religious beliefs and Turkic Muslim ethno-cultural practices. The government aims to replace these beliefs and practices with secular state-sanctioned views and behaviours, and, ultimately, to forcibly assimilate members of these ethnic groups into a homogenous Chinese nation possessing a unified language, culture, and unwavering loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“To achieve this political indoctrination and forced cultural assimilation, the government undertook a campaign of arbitrary mass detention. Huge numbers of men and women from predominantly Muslim ethnic groups have been detained. They include hundreds of thousands who have been sent to prisons as well as hundreds of thousands – perhaps 1 million or more – who have been sent to what the government refers to as ‘training’ or ‘education’ centres. These facilities are more accurately described as internment camps. Detainees in these camps are subjected to a ceaseless indoctrination campaign as well as physical and psychological torture and other forms of ill-treatment.”

In a statement, CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said: 

“This comprehensive report from Amnesty International is another reason why there must be immediate international action to stop the Chinese government’s ongoing campaign of genocide against its Uyghur Muslim community. Nations have said ‘Never again’ after prior atrocities, but that phrase will be nothing more than a slogan unless the world–starting with Muslim-majority nations–condemn and take action to end China’s unprecedented crime against humanity.”

Earlier this year, CAIR welcomed the Biden administration’s first formal United States’ recognition that the government of China is committing “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uyghur Muslim and other Turkic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes U.S. Formal Recognition of China Committing ‘Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity’ Against Uyghur Muslims, Other Turkic Minorities

That recognition came in the new U.S. State Department “2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.” 

SEE: U.S. State Department 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China (Includes Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet) – United States Department of State

In March, CAIR and Free Uyghur Now hosted the “Call It Genocide” Uyghur Muslim rights rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., urging the U.S. government to formally recognize China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic minorities. 

Video: CAIR Co-Sponsors #CallItGenocide Uyghur Muslim Rights Rally at Chinese Embassy in D.C.

Full Rally Video: #CallItGenocide Uyghur Muslim Rights Rally at Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Video: CAIR Director Nihad Awad Speaks at #CallItGenocide Uyghur Rights Rally at China Embassy in DC


The U.S. State Department 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices section on China, states in part: 

“Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes were continuing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of China’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. 

“Significant human rights issues [in China] included: arbitrary or unlawful killings by the government; forced disappearances by the government; torture by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention conditions; arbitrary detention by the government, including the mass detention of more than one million Uyghurs and other members of predominantly Muslim minority groups in extrajudicial internment camps and an additional two million subjected to daytime-only “re-education” training. . .” 

CAIR welcomed coordinated sanctions by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union (EU) targeting China for its genocidal campaign against Uyghur Muslims. Chinese officials were sanctioned for “serious human rights abuses” against Uyghur Muslims. 

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Coordinated Sanctions by US, UK, Canada and EU Allies Over China’s Genocide Targeting Uyghur Muslims 

CAIR also responded to an independent report detailing China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims by calling on Congress to quickly pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.Res.129/S.65).  

SEE: CAIR Responds to Independent Report Re-Confirming China’s Xinjiang Genocide with Call for Congress to Pass Uyghur Forced Labor Act 

In February, CAIR called for “immediate and concrete” action by the Biden administration and the international community following a BBC report on mass rape, sexual abuse and torture in Uyghur concentration camps in China’s Xinjiang province.    

SEE: CAIR Calls for ‘Immediate and Concrete’ Action by Biden Administration and International Community After BBC Report on China’s Systematic Rape of Uyghur Women 

In January, CAIR praised then President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee for refunding a $500 donation from former California U.S. Senator Barbra Boxer, who recently registered as a foreign agent due to her lobbying work on behalf of a Chinese firm that has allegedly helped China imprison hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps.   

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Biden Inaugural Committee Rejection of Former Sen. Boxer’s Donation, Citing Her Links to China’s Oppression of Uyghur Muslims 

In December 2020, CAIR join the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), Free Uyghur Now, and other global allies in a virtual press conference calling on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to join the international community in standing with Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic ethnic minorities to demand accountability for China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang.

SEE: CAIR to Join U.S. Muslim Coalition in Questioning OIC’s Silence on China’s Abuses of Uyghur, Turkic 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 Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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