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CAIR Condemns Repression of Chinese Muslims, Urges Immediate International Action Following HRW Report

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/10/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today said a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailing the “mass, systematic campaign of human rights violations against Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang in northwestern China” should spur international action in defense of religious freedom.

Estimates indicate that 1 million people are being held in detention camps where Turkic Muslims are held for actions, including “peacefully expressing their identity and religion,” which are not crimes under Chinese law.

Outside these detention facilities, Xinjiang’s Turkic Muslims are subjected to such “unprecedented levels of control over religious practices, the authorities have effectively outlawed Islam in the region.”

HRW’s 117-page report¸ “”˜Eradicating Ideological Viruses’: China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims,” states in part:

“This report presents new evidence of the Chinese government’s mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang and details the systemic and increasingly pervasive controls on daily life there. These rampant abuses violate fundamental rights to freedom of expression, religion, and privacy, and protections from torture and unfair trials. More broadly, governmental controls over day-to-day life in Xinjiang primarily affect ethnic Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other minorities, in violation of international law’s prohibitions against discrimination.”

China: Massive Crackdown in Muslim Region (HRW)

China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“The international community, including the United States, must take immediate action to address the brutal, systematic repression being inflicted on Xinjiang’s Muslim population. Reports of mass violations of human rights should not be ignored or excused. Without strong and decisive actions to defend peaceful Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, China will feel emboldened to continue, or even step up its campaign of religious oppression.

“As the United States and its European allies engage China on its rising role in global affairs, they must make it clear to the Chinese government that freedom of religion and freedom from persecution for religious beliefs is a hallmark of universal human rights and that they will not stand by while China pursues its anti-Muslim policies.”

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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