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CAIR Welcomes Sanctions on Chinese Officials Involved in Detention of Uyghur Muslims

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/8/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement of 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.

Pompeo announced the restrictions today on Twitter, stating: “China has forcibly detained over one million Muslims in a brutal, systematic campaign to erase religion and culture in Xinjiang. China must end its draconian surveillance and repression, release all those arbitrarily detained, and cease its coercion of Chinese Muslims abroad.”

SEE: US puts visa restrictions on Chinese officials over abuses of Muslims in Xinjiang

SEE: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Tweets

“The individuals who are responsible for this atrocious program that has separated more than a million Muslims from their families, forced them to engage in conduct that goes against their religion and subjected many to torture, forced sterilization and other unthinkable human rights abuses, must be held accountable,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “We applaud Secretary Pompeo for promoting religious freedom, the bedrock of American democracy, for all, regardless of faith.”

The sanctions are the next step in a campaign of mounting pressure on the Chinese government to end the detention of more than a million Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps.

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.

Earlier today, CAIR welcomed the government’s decision to blacklist 28 Chinese surveillance, artificial intelligence and other technology companies allegedly being used to repress Uyghur and other Muslim minority groups in China.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes U.S. Blacklisting of Chinese Companies Being Used to Repress Muslims in China, Calls on NBA to Cancel Exhibition Games, Close Training Centers in China

Yesterday, 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 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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