(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/28/2020) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Congress’ adoption of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 promoted by the reported detention of more than one million Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang concentration camps and encouraged President Trump to immediately sign this bill into law.
The legislation passed overwhelmingly in both chambers of Congress and now awaits a signature from President Trump to put sanctions into effect.
“CAIR commends Congress’ passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 and urges President Trump to sign it without delay,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “For the sake of religious freedom everywhere, it is imperative that we hold accountable those responsible for China’s abhorrent and oppressive treatment of Uyghur Muslims.”
If adopted, the bill would:
- Call on the President to submit a report identifying individuals and entities responsible for violating the human rights of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang
- Require sanctions be levied on the identified individuals and entities
- Task the State Department with compiling reports on human rights abuses in Xinjiang, efforts to protect U.S. citizens and residents from harassment and intimidation by the Chinese government, and the Chinese government’s technological developments which aid their human rights violations
- Instruct the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to submit a comprehensive report to Congress detailing the nature of the human rights abuses in Xinjiang
CAIR has been an outspoken proponent of placing sanctions on China after reports first emerged that Uyghur Muslims were victims of Chinese internment and supporter of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020.
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 New York Times reports that the Chinese government will detain Uyghur 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.
Dubbed the “Xinjiang Papers” by the New York Times in November 2019, more than 400 pages of leaked Chinese government documents 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.”
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 Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw, 202-999-8292, email@example.com